Elliott eyes Irish Gold Cup

Don Poli and Empire Of Dirt are set to represent Gordon Elliott in the Stan James Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown on Sunday week.

Empire Of Dirt is set to join Don Poli in the Irish Gold Cup

The Cullentra handler currently has four horses engaged for the Grade One contest, but is ready to cut that team in half.

Outlander, winner of the Lexus Chase over the same course and distance last month, is set to miss out, as is Roi Des Francs.

Lexus runner-up Don Poli is the 5/2 favourite in ante-post lists, with his Troytown Chase-winning stable companion Empire Of Dirt second best in the market at 4/1.

"Don Poli and Empire Of Dirt will be the two for the Irish Gold Cup," said Elliott.

"Outlander won't go. He'll go straight to Cheltenham.

"Don Poli seems to be in good form. You wouldn't know with him as he's that slow at home to be honest, but he seems in good form.

"If he runs the race he ran the last day he'd take all the beating and I'd say the ease in the ground will suit him better.

"Empire Of Dirt is in great form. He's a horse that is hard enough on himself at home so you never really know where you are with him.

"He seems to be well, but it's a big step up."

Elliott's star performer in the novice hurdle division is undoubtedly Death Duty.

The Shantou gelding completed a four-timer with an impressive Grade One success at Naas earlier this month and has the option of running in either the Neptune or the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

The six-year-old holds an entry in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown in the meantime, but will not take up that engagement.

Elliott said: "He definitely won't run at Leopardstown and he'll go straight to Cheltenham.

"I'm leaning towards the Albert Bartlett with him. I think it'll suit him, as he settles so well. You could drop him in and follow them around and you know he's going to stay.

"We'll see, as there is a lot of water to go under the bridge between now and then."

Read More at Sporting Life

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