Gordon Elliott’s highly-regarded Poli Roi is set to enhance his Cheltenham credentials, as he makes his hurdling debut in Galway’s Mervue Maiden Hurdle (2:25).
The five-year-old built on his point-to-point success with a bumper win at Navan, where he quickened to deny nearest rival Impact Factor by two lengths.
He was well beaten by super stablemate Fayonagh, who won over hurdles on Saturday, when the pair met in Punchestown’s Champion Bumper finishing third.
Constantly regarded as a better horse over obstacles, he has been installed as a short price favourite for a debut victory.
“He had a pleasing start to his career when winning his bumper on his racecourse debut then going on to finish 3rd in a Grade 1 bumper at Punchestown,” said the Cullentra handler.
“He has his first run over hurdles today and has been schooling well at home so we expect a good run from him.”
His Cheltenham options remain open for Poli Roi, with an optimum trip still questionable. The antepost market currently have him as a 25-1 shot for the Albert Bartlett, Supreme and Neptune.
Unlike Fayonagh, he faces stiffer competition in this novice event. Willie Mullins’ Poet Power could be the main danger, he was an impressive bumper winner at this venue in July.
Fellow Gigginstown raider Trainwreck also makes his first start over hurdles. He finished second when last seen at Down Royal.
Adrian Maguire’s Gagas Horse and Noel Meade’s The Rory Story could also be dangers.
Poli Roi is expected to go off at Evs for the 2m2f event.