Velka Pardubicka June 09

Velka Pardubicka June 09

Jun 2009

Trainer Gordon Elliott rates the chances of him running Grand National winner Silver Birch in the Velka Pardubicka in October as "50/50".

Following his famous victory at Aintree in 2007, Silver Birch was sidelined through injury for almost two years, but the 12-year-old bounced back with a fine second (to Garde Champetre) in the La Touche Cup at Punchestown in April.

The County Meath trainer told www.cdhorseracingtours.com: "He's brilliant. He came home 100 per cent and we're absolutely thrilled with him. He's off for a summer break and will probably next take in a hurdle race, as a preparation for the cross-country races."

"I will definitely aim him for the race, but we'll talk things through with the owner before we plan where to run him next. I'd say at this moment it is 50/50 that he will go for the race."

Of his other entry Dublin Hunter, who has run twice for Elliott since making the switch from Dessie Hughes' stable, he added: "He was bought for the race and will definitely run - it will be a great 'craic' for the owners."

Fellow County Meath trainer Tony Martin, who has entered Wonderkid for the race, told www.cdhorseracingtours.com: "I'm keen to run Wonderkid in the race, although I've never had a runner before, the plan is very much to send over Wonderkid and give it a go.

"Wonderkid will be kept busy over the summer - he could run at Roscommon next week - and will have a bit of a break in August, before we step things up again."

County Dublin trainer Oliver McKiernan is also keen to run Il En Reve, after a number of set-backs thwarted the stable's 14-year-old cross-country specialist Star Performance making the trip in previous years, at Pardubice.

McKiernan told www.cdhorseracingtours.com: "Il En Reve will have a couple of runs probably in Ireland before the race in October.

"Good ground is the key to where we run him next although it is likely to be at home (Ireland). I've never been out to experience the race before, but the attraction is very much our love of cross-country/Banks racing."

Kim Bailey described his recent Stratford winner Lucky Luk as a "speculative entry", while fellow trainer Jim Old explained that sales were either completed or in the process of being agreed for both his entries - Super Lord and Team Chaser, so watch this space.

Charles Egerton has also entered Darkness, owned by Lady Lloyd-Webber, but the Lambourn trainer was unavailable for comment regarding the possibilities of the former Feltham Novices' Chase (2005) winner.

However, two Pardubice regulars Charlie Mann and Ferdy Murphy both seem set for another tilt at the race, a cautious Mann quipped: "Has Paul Nicholls got any entries?"

Mann, who won the race in 1995 with Its A Snip (trained and rode the horse), and has entered Mr Big told www.cdhorseracingtours.com: "Mr Big goes on any ground, he's very consistent and has only been out of the money twice in 11 runs, winning on three occasions.

"He's a grand big horse, who jumps well and I think has the right attitude for the Velka Pardubicka. He's sensible in his races and jumps well. We'll give him a run in September and take it from there - the intention is very much to run him at Pardubice."

Finally another Pardubice regular Ferdy Murphy has entered Durham National winner Lucky Nellerie.

The 10-year-old, owned by the DPRP Nellerie Partnership, is another success story for the David Parry Racing National Hunt syndicate venture.

Parry told www.cdhorseracingtours.com: "Lucky Nellerie is an ideal kind of horse for the Velka Pardubicka. He is very tough, stays well and he is an accurate and nimble jumper.

"He goes on most types of ground and he is a bold front runner. The race is one of the most famous in the world and we are hugely excited to be taking it on.

"He is at grass right now but will be brought back & schooled over cross country type fences. He was bred from a cross-country family and we think he is an ideal type for the race."


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