Same again for Don Poli
Gordon Elliott feels Don Poli will take 'all the beating' in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown on Sunday if he can reproduce his performance from the Lexus Chase.
Third in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham last March, Don Poli suffered a nightmare start after he was switched into Elliott's care from the yard of champion trainer Willie Mullins in the autumn.
His first run saw Don Poli pulled up in the JNWine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal having barely travelled a yard under Barry Geraghty. It left Elliott scratching his head over where to go next.
He's in good form and if he puts that run in again, he'll take all the beating.Gordon Elliott
The County Meath handler decided to send Don Poli off hunting in a bid to spark some enthusiasm and he duly sent his charge to Leopardstown for the Lexus having been happy with the results.
There, he was back close to his best form as he chased home stablemate Outlander in the Grade One three-miler.
He'll be back at the Foxrock track on Sunday, with the three-miles of the Irish Gold Cup set to be playing into his hands given likely conditions. Don Poli is 9/4 to win the race and his trainer feels he can do just that if he repeats his Christmas run.
"I thought it was a very good run by Don Poli (in the Lexus)," Elliott told At The Races.
"It's going to be a competitive race on Sunday, but the ease in the ground will suit him and David Mullins, who got a good tune out of him the last day, rides him again.
"He's in good form and if he puts that run in again, he'll take all the beating."
Eight-runners are set to go to post for the Gold Cup, with Don Poli joined by stablemate Empire Of Dirt, which Elliott feels makes a 'big step up' from handicap company in Grade One class now.
John Kiely's Carlingford Lough is 11/2 to become just the third horse ever to win three Irish Gold Cup's and he has JP McManus' retained rider Geraghty for company.
Jessica Harrington's Sizing John is an 10/3 chance for the race as he tackles three-miles for the first time in his career.
The field is completed by Road To Riches, Zabana, Minella Rocco and More Of That.
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