Gordon Elliott Hopeful For Shattered Love At Punchestown
Grade 1 action returns to Punchestown this afternoon with the John Durkan Chase and there’s a couple of Grade 1 performers lining up in the Hilly Way Chase at Cork also on another good afternoon of action in Ireland.
Elliott Love’s Grade 1 winners
Gordon Elliott won the John Durkan in 2014 with Don Cossack and in the same Gigginstown House Stud colours he could claim himself a second edition of the Punchestown feature with Shattered Love.
Elliott has an ambitious Gold Cup plan mapped out for the dual Grade 1 winning Shattered Love who triumphed in the JLT Novice Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last season and while she might fall short in that company, this looks a perfect opportunity for her.
Min is the likely favourite for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh but having had to settle for minor honours yesterday in Sandown it could be a similar story today for the Closutton team.
Shattered Love’s effort at Down Royal last month was a long way from a Gold Cup contender but she can benefit from the absence of Presenting Percy and a few more big names in today’s race.
Elliott has said numerous times that she would improve for that first run of the season and Jack Kennedy is likely to be very positive on the seven-year-old who should be just able to outstay Min.
Short price brace for Mullins
One hope for this season would be that Great Field would get the chance to fulfil his potential and stay injury free. A number of different issues have prevented him from being a regular force in the two-mile chase division but when he turns up he collects the winners cheque.
The Hilly Way Chase at Cork has been a happy hunting ground for Willie Mullins and Great Field should add to his impressive record in the race.
Mullins is going for five in a row and Great Field can make every yard a winning one in the colours of JP McManus with Jody McGarvey refreshingly keeping the ride on the horse with whom he gets on so well with.
There is a Champion Chase winner in the field as Special Tiara takes his chance but the ground would look a concern for him it would be a surprise if Great Field didn’t stamp his authority here.
In the Grade 3 mares novice chase Camelia De Cotte is picked to score for Mullins and Paul Townend.
The daughter of Laveron has to concede weight all round but truly looks a much better horse over fences than she did over hurdles and can back up her Clonmel success with another victory here.
This would require a career best effort from Camelia De Cotte and it is a competitive field but things didn’t exactly go according to plan for Camelia De Cotte in Clonmel and she still managed to win so with a clearer round of jumping and probably on ground which she’d prefer she can bring up the second leg of the Mullins double.
Great Hill 8/13 – 1.45 Cork
Shattered Love 9/4 – 2.00 Punchestown