Thyestes Chase preview: Gordon Elliott hopeful Ucello Conti will gain overdue reward

Wed 24 Jan 2018

Click here for all the runners, riders, form and latest odds for the Thyestes Chase

By staff

Ucello Conti will try to finally win a race for Gordon Elliott when he takes aim at the Goffs Thyestes Chase at Gowran on Thursday.

The 10-year-old French import has produced some big displays under the stewardship of the County Meath handler, but has not hit the target in 11 starts for Elliott.

Ucello Conti is, however, prominent in the betting for the Thyestes after finishing a good runner-up to Anibale Fly in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.

Elliott said: "He loves testing ground and runs well every day he runs. He's in very good form.

"I'm running plenty as it's a nice race and we haven't won it yet, we've only been placed. It's a great track and a great race.

"Ucello Conti has been knocking on the door in all those big handicaps, he's a great horse and he deserves to win one like the Thyestes."

Elliott still wants to run Ucello Conti in the Grand National at Aintree for a third consecutive season.

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He said: "The horse is probably his own worst enemy as he runs well every day. He'll be going back to Aintree, all being well."

Elliott also saddles Flaxen Flare, Monbeg Notorious, Woods Well, Space Cadet and Out Sam, who will be ridden by jockey-of-the-moment James Bowen.

Last year's winner Champagne West is back for another go for Henry de Bromhead.

The 10-year-old has struggled in two previous starts this season and wears first-time cheekpieces from the head of the weights.

De Bromhead said: "He's been a bit disappointing this year, to be honest, so we're going back to where we've had success before.

"He handled conditions well last year but he's 5lb higher. He needs to find his form, but we're hoping he's back to his best.

"Hopefully the drop in class will suit him."

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