Wednesday 24 January 2018

Punchestown 2015: No More Heroes to grab Grade One success for Elliot

There's little between Shaneshill (far side) and No More Heroes at the last
There's little between Shaneshill (far side) and No More Heroes at the last

For yet another season Gordon Elliott’s fledging career in the training ranks has seen him outdo his own personal tally.

He’ll sign off this campaign with a lot more winners than it took to win a trainers’ championship only a decade ago, but to cap all that off he may also walk away with a Grade One success on the second day courtesy of No More Heroes.

The six-year-old has always been held in high regard by his connections but failed to really show his full potential this season.

He was probably a shade unlucky not to finish a bit closer in the Albert Bartlett behind Martello Tower, although it would be unfair to say he’d have ever beaten the winner. however, despite Shaneshill having some very strong form lines, No More Heroes is picked to score on this occasion.

Indeed, the second day of the Irish National Hunt Festival might be a good one for Gigginstown. Aside from the obvious two leading contenders in the Gold Cup, Don Cossack and Road To Riches, elsewhere on the card Prince Of Scars and Empire Of Dirt are two carrying those now famous maroon and white colours that stand out.

Prince Of Scars dead-heated to win his maiden at Leopardstown over Christmas and then ran second behind stable companion Phil’s Magic at Naas. Although he was no match for Shaneshill last time out, this marks a drop in class for the lovely son of Flemensfirth who may be able to take advantage of that.

Colm Murphy’s Empire Of Dirt was one of the leading fancies of the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse earlier in the month but he crashed out at the first fence. Although only running over 2m4f tomorrow, if he bucks out and gets his own way out in front, the field might struggle to come back.

Hurricane Ridge ran a blinder for Hayley O’Connor in the Charity Race at Cheltenham and can continue Jessica Harrington’s fine run of form in the opener.

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