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Stellar line up for Down Royal Champion Chase

3 minute read

Down Royal hosts the rescheduled Group 1 Ladbrokes Champion Chase on Saturday, which has attracted a quality field of four top-class runners.

Racecourse : Down Royal
Racecourse : Down Royal 

Gordon Elliott's Gerri Colombe heads the market at 5/6 and will be attempting to make a successful transition into open company o seasonal reappearance. Narrowly denied in the Grade 1 Turners Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, the seven-year-old returned to winning ways at Aintree in the Grade 1 Mildmay Novices' Chase.

"It's his first run of the season. He didn't do much wrong last year, he went from strength to strength," Elliott said.

"He looks strong, he's in good form, he's not a good work horse and doesn't do anything very flash but he's a typical big, staying chaser. He's in good form and we're happy with him."

Stablemate Conflated is the outsider of the quartet after a beaten reappearance effort but cannot be dismissed based on a third behind Galopin Des Champs in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

"Conflated was a Grade One winner last year. He'll have come on from Punchestown and we're really looking forward to running him," added Elliott.

"He needed it badly. He'd been a little bit delayed after a setback and we said we'd give him a run to get him fit and you'll see an awful lot of improvement in him."

Henry De Bromhead is responsible for the other two runners in the contest, Cheltenham Festival winners Envoi Allen and Minella Indo.

2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Minella Indo returned with a victory in the Grade 3 Irish Daily Star Chase whilst Envoi Allen could only manage third in the Grade 2 PWC Champion Chase at Gowran Park on his reappearance.

"Envoi Allen is in great form so we're hoping for a good run," said De Bromhead.

"We were disappointed obviously not to win at Gowran, but the form has been franked [runner-up Gentlemansgame won the Charlie Hall Chase].

"With hindsight, it was a good run, and he will definitely improve fitness-wise.

"Minella Indo was brilliant the last day and will also hopefully improve from his recent run. He was pretty good in Punchestown, we're happy and hopefully, he will also give a good account of himself.

"He only had a couple of runs last season and the Gold Cup was obviously disappointing, but the day at Tramore was incredible."

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