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Delta Work can claim big Down Royal prize for Elliott


Gordon Elliott. Photo: Sportsfile

Gordon Elliott. Photo: Sportsfile

Gordon Elliott. Photo: Sportsfile

Formerly known as the JN Wine Champion Chase, the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal (2.25) usually attracts some top-class sorts and that's the case in 2020.

This year's renewal is fascinating with Delta Work, Presenting Percy and Chris's Dream, which were all last seen in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham, set to face each other again.

The nine-runner field is dominated by Gordon Elliott with five entries, and there's also two apiece from Henry de Bromhead and Noel Meade.

This is Presenting Percy's first race since moving to Gordon Elliott's yard but Delta Work will be hard to beat for Elliott, and I'm happy to take the 7/4 available at the time of writing.

Second-last in the 2019 renewal, he's since won an Irish Gold Cup although it's fair to say his jumping let him down at Cheltenham.

Delta Work has beaten Presenting Percy a number of times, but it will be very interesting to see how the latter goes now based in new surroundings.

It's hard to know what to make of Chris's Dream. De Bromhead's eight-year-old has a bit of class and has won a couple of Grade Twos, yet he can be frustrating to follow at times and is inconsistent at Grade One level. But his trainer is sure to nurture any talent, so he's definitely the big danger.

Willie Mullins' Easy Game is evens favourite in the following Grade Two Lough Construction Chase (3.0) but that's a little short in a race that includes Elliott's Samcro, which is a bit of value at 13/8. He can be quirky but a Grade One win at Cheltenham last time sets the standard.

Earlier, a chance is taken on Hearts Are Trumps around 14/1 in the Grade B WKD Handicap Hurdle (1.50). It's ages since he's won, but he's often thereabouts around this mark and this looks wide open.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to back The Gatechecker at a similar price in the Paddy Power Cork Grand National (3.20). He won this race last year off 6lbs lower than today's 130 but his recent races over hurdles suggest he's being prepared for another tilt.

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In the Listed Paddy's Rewards Club EBF Novice Hurdle (2.15), Goodbye Someday is tipped at 7/4 for John Kiely. He's won three of his last four races and wasn't disgraced when second in a Grade Three last time so this level should be within his reach.

There's also some Flat action at Naas tomorrow and I'm keen on So Wonderful around 9/2 in the Group Three Irish Stallion Farms EBF Athasi Stakes (2.0). The Aidan O'Brien-trained filly has already won at Listed level, and while out of her depth in a Group One last time, she's finally finding her stride having taken 15 races to lose the maiden tag.

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