Friday 18 October 2019

Elliott's hope for Champagne day

Trainer Gordon Elliott. Photo: Barry Cregg / Sportsfile
Trainer Gordon Elliott. Photo: Barry Cregg / Sportsfile

Gordon Elliott'S Champagne Classic makes his seasonal reappearance at Tipperary today as he contests the Grade Three Like A Butterfly Novice Chase.

Dry weather meant the eight-year-old only ran twice last season, although he placed on both occasions in Graded novice chases.

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Prior to that the gelding had enjoyed a successful hurdling campaign, culminating in victories in both the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Grade One Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle at Punchestown.

"He spent a long time off after winning the Grade One novice hurdle at Punchestown a few years ago," Elliott told Betfair. "But he showed that he retained his ability when reaching the frame in a couple of Graded novice chases last season.

"He was one that probably wasn't suited by the dry winter last season as we only got a couple of runs into him, but hopefully we will enjoy a full campaign with him this time."

The two-mile-four-furlong contest is intended to be a stepping stone for the Gigginstown-owned gelding, with the National Hunt Chase the ultimate aim.

Willie Mullins' Robin De Carlow lines up in the same race - alongside stablemates Brahma Bull and Dandy Mag - after staying in training over the summer.

A mixed card of both flat and jumps races, the highlight on the level is the Group Three Coolmore Stud Home Of Champions Concorde Stakes.

Sheila Lavery's Quizical takes his chance, having carried AP McCoy to victory in the Pat Smullen Champions Race For Cancer Trials Ireland last month.

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