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Elliott's set to make call over Flaxen

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Flaxen Flare ridden by Davy Condon jumps the last fence and goes on to win the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. Picture credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Flaxen Flare ridden by Davy Condon jumps the last fence and goes on to win the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. Picture credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Flaxen Flare ridden by Davy Condon jumps the last fence and goes on to win the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. Picture credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

TRAINER Gordon Elliott is expected to decide in the next 24 hours whether or not he will run Fred Winter winner Flaxen Flare in Saturday's Boylesports Hurdle at Leopardstown, but the trainer does expect the "rogue" Rocky Wednesday to be there or thereabouts in the Grade B handicap.

The weights look set to rise in the €100,000 race and with Willie Mullins unlikely to run City Slicker, that would leave Flaxen Flare with the burden of top weight. Elliott may consider claiming, but he admitted that it wasn't ideal.

"Flaxen Flare is probably not that well handicapped any more, but he runs fairly consistently in those two-mile handicap hurdles and the faster they go the better, but he is a horse that might run into the money again," Elliott said after overseeing over 90 horses riding out yesterday morning.

CLAIMING

"We might consider claiming off him and long term we may look at stepping him up for something like the Coral Cup at Cheltenham in March. I'll speak to the owners about Saturday and we'll take it from there."

The Gigginstown-owned Rocky Wednesday is a definite runner, however, and after winning at the track over Christmas, he'll be back to try and go one better than when he finished second in the Boylesports behind Abbey Lane 12 months ago.

"Rocky Wednesday was second in the race last year and I'd say Robbie Colgan will ride him again as he seems to get a good tune out of him and he has so much ability he could easily be placed again."

Elliott added: "He flew home in the race last year, he's a rogue, but he is what he is, but he picks up a nice race every year and I wouldn't mind a few more like him as he's a grand horse."

Looking at the race, Elliott pinpointed the well backed 7/2 favourite Quick Jack as an obvious danger.

"I suppose Tony's horse down the bottom looks the one with a light weight, but you need an awful lot of luck in running in those races and we've been second in a lot of those big handicaps over the last year to 18 months, so it would be nice to get the right side of one."

The sponsors revealed that the Willie Mullins-trained Blood Cotil was the latest horses to be well supported for the two-mile handicap and he is now an 8/1 shot having been introduced to the market at 14/1.

The Charles Byrnes-trained Sea Light won twice at Leopardstown over Christmas and he is the current second favourite at 7/1 from an earlier price of 10/1, with the other big market mover being John Kiely's Reizovic who is a 16/1 shot.

CHASER

Meanwhile, Gordon Elliott also confirmed that his Grade One-winning novice chaser Don Cossack will bypass Leopardstown at the weekend and instead run in the Dr PJ Moriarty on February 9. Don Cossack won the Drinmore at Fairyhouse when beating subsequent Grade One winner Carlingford Lough and he did hold an entry for Saturday's Grade Two Killiney Novice Chase, but Elliott said: "No, we'll wait with Don Cossack and go straight for the Moriarty in a couple of weeks' time."

All the big guns stood their ground for Sunday's BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown, with Hurricane Fly 8/15 to beat the 4/1 shots Jezki and Our Conor for the second time in less than a month.


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