Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Inspection called at Punchestown

Gordon Elliott
Gordon Elliott

Wednesday's meeting at Punchestown must pass an 8am precautionary inspection on raceday morning.

Although the track is raceable, course officials will assess conditions due to an adverse overnight weather forecast. The ground is heavy ahead of the seven-race National Hunt card, which is due to start at 2.15pm.

Gordon Elliott admits Mae's Choice will need to improve again this season as she begins her campaign in the feature race, the Grade Three Grabel Mares Hurdle.

The six-year-old progressed from running in novice hurdles at Musselburgh and Ayr to winning a Grade Three event at the Punchestown Festival.

Because of that victory she is giving weight away to all her seven rivals, including the promising Willie Mullins-trained Tarla, who needs to bounce back from a poor run on the Flat.

"Mae's Choice won a Grade Three in Punchestown and that was a massive career-best from her," said Elliott.

"She's strengthened up really nicely over the summer and we think she's improved, but she'll have to up her game this season.

"We sort of threw her in at the deep end at Punchestown, but she came out the other side with the goods. She'll need to step up again now."

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