Battleoverdoyen is the headline name at Punchestown on Sunday, as he takes the next step up the ladder in the Liam & Valerie Brennan Memorial Florida Pearl Novice Chase.
Having made a very smooth chasing debut for Gordon Elliott at Galway, where he beat the useful Cap York by an unextended eight lengths, talk was of a possible crack at the Grade One Drinmore Novice Chase.
However, with stablemate Samcro booked in for that event, he turns up at Grade Two level instead – and it will be far from a walkover against the likes of Ted Walsh’s Any Second Now, winner of the Kim Muir at Cheltenham last season.
“The Florida Pearl looks a perfect race for Battleoverdoyen before we think about moving him up to three miles,” said Elliott.
“He was a Grade One winner over hurdles and I’m hoping he will do the same as a chaser and hopefully he will take the beating at the weekend.
“He is in good form and has come on for his run in Galway, so we are looking forward to bringing him back to Punchestown.”
Eddie O’Leary, racing manager to owners Gigginstown House Stud, added: “He won’t go for the Drinmore now, hopefully we’ve got Samcro for that, so we’re pushing him out in trip to two-six and then he’ll be going three miles.
“He was very good first time over fences, did little wrong and everyone was very happy, but he’s going up markedly in grade now.”
Elliott also runs Swordsman, while Noel Meade’s Minella Fair, Willie Mullins’ Dandy Mag and Sayo and the Ellmarie Holden-trained Ex Patriot are other useful opponents.