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Elliott goes to Work for Down Royal feature bid

 

Horse for course: Delta Work, with Davy Russell on board, wins at Down Royal in 2018
Horse for course: Delta Work, with Davy Russell on board, wins at Down Royal in 2018

By Ron McKnight

Trainer Gordon Elliott has opted to go for gold with his decision to run star novice chaser Delta Work in the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Chase feature race on day two of Down Royal Festival on Saturday.

The trainer had taken out insurance by also entering the horse in the big novice chase but has now confirmed Delta Work targets the Festival fea-ture.

Elliott had still four engaged yesterday including his top novice which has been installed 7/4 favourite closely followed by last year's King George VI winner, Clan Des Obeaux (2/1).

Elliott said: "He's been schooling well and is ready to start off. He won over the course on his chasing debut last season and he's in good form."

The top trainer, who won the Aintree Grand National in 2007 before he even had a winner in Ireland, is on a quest for a fourth victory in the big race at the Maze track.

He also confirmed Alpha Des Obeaux will run as well and a decision on the participation of his other two remaining en-tries, Shattered Love and Mengli Khan, will be made at the 48 hour declaration stage.

If statistics could be relied on, Delta Work should be even shorter odds with owner Michael O'Leary having won the past six renewals of the £130,000 big race.

Victory for Delta Work on his return to action could see the youngster move to head the betting for next year's Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The County Meath trainer appears to hold many of the aces at the two day meeting and will certainly supply the stars.

Samcro will make his debut over fences tomorrow - the youngster, unbeaten over hurdles in the previous season, was not the same horse last year due to a lung infection having been found and curtailing his season.

Elliott said of his 2018 Ballymore Hurdle winner at the Cheltenham Festival: "He's had a wind operation and we're looking forward to getting him started over fences."

Envoi Allen, winner of last season's Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival, has the option of making his seasonal debut over hurdles on either Friday or Super Saturday.

√She's Got You can give John Gosden another nice prize by winning the Listed Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost EBF Fleur De Lys Fillies' Stakes at Lingfield.

Lightly raced, the daughter of Kingman out of the smart mare Without You Babe, was narrowly beaten in a similar contest at Newmarket last time out.

That was a career-best by some way, despite winning her two previous races, and she is by far the least exposed running in this contest.

With a win at Wolverhampton to her name, all-weather surfaces clearly hold no fears.

TODAY'S SELECTIONS

CHELMSFORD: 4.55 Aiguillette, 5.25 Mardle, 5.55 Global Destination, 6.25 Skerryvore, 6.55 It Had To Be You, 7.25 Brother In Arms, 7.55 Reims, 8.25 Harmonise.

CLONMEL: 1.00 Janet's Charm, 1.30 Accidental Rebel, 2.05 Arch Melody, 2.40 Freewheelin Dylan, 3.10 Tintangle, 3.45 Steer Clear, 4.15 All About Alfie.

KEMPTON: 4.40 Penwood, 5.10 Seraphim, 5.40 Lola Paige, 6.10 Secret Acquisition, 6.40 Good Tidings, 7.10 Daring Venture, 7.40 Falcon Cliffs, 8.10 Viola Park.

LINGFIELD: 12.50 Iron Mike, 1.20 Cranberry, 1.55 War Glory, 2.30 SHE'S GOT YOU (NAP), 3.00 Lexington Rebel, 3.35 Delphinia, 4.05 Sonnet Rose.

STRATFORD: 1.45 Chance Finale, 2.20 Lisnagar Oscar, 2.50 Skeaping, 3.25 Timoteo, 3.55 Sheshoon Sonny, 4.25 Shanroe In Milan.

DOUBLE: She's Got You and Delphinia, both Lingfield.

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