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Ulster's hopes of glory are riding high in Ballymore Hurdle at Cheltenham

 

Top tip: Battleoverdoyen can triumph at Cheltenham today
Top tip: Battleoverdoyen can triumph at Cheltenham today
Gordon Elliott

By Ron McKnight

Today's opening Ballymore Hurdle at Cheltenham contains plenty of local interest.

Rose Boyd, joint owner of dual Champion Hurdle hero Hurricane Fly, and Marie Armstrong, whose husband Adam formed part of the Monty's Pass syndicate which landed the 2003 Aintree Grand National, along with Boyce Anderson, own the Willie Mullins-trained Castlebawn West in the race.

The trio will also be represented in the Coral Cup by Killultagh Vic, a former Festival winner over hurdles, which ran in the Gold Cup last year having missed the 2016 and 2017 seasons following serious injury.

Galvin is unbeaten in his five starts for Gordon Elliott, having been taught his trade by Ian Ferguson at Cullybackey, while the Noel Meade-trained Valdieu opened his account in a Down Royal bumper on Boxing Day before winning his maiden hurdle.

Battleoverdoyen was trained by Gerry Cosgrave at Banbridge to win a Templepatrick point to point prior to his £235,000 sale to Elliott and gets the vote.

Delta Work opened his account over fences in a beginners chase at the Down Royal Festival last year prior to completing a hat-trick and can prove another major player for Elliott in the RSA Novice Chase.

Tiger Roll, winner of the Grand National last year, prepares to retain his crown in the Cross Country event. The Enda Bolger pair Josie's Orders and Auvergnat complete the principal trio and Tiger Roll looks another likely scorer for the Elliott team.

Canardier won at Down Royal on May Day last year and continues to progress - and could have claims at a big price in the Coral Cup.

Ballyandy, a seven-time winner for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies since his purchase from Templepatrick-based Wilson Dennison, is also engaged in the race.

Henry de Bromhead has twice won the Queen Mother Champion Chase and is represented by Ordinary World with Rachael Blackmore aboard in today's renewal, supplying a sporting each way alternative at 50/1 to the odds-on favourite Altior, having finished fifth and third behind the latter in the past two years.

Band Of Outlaws impressed in winning his last two starts for Joseph O'Brien, while Envoi Allen can prove an able deputy for owners Cheveley Park in the absence of former favourite Malone Road in the Champion bumper and add to the Elliott tally on the day.

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