Pencilfulloflead aiming to defy penalty at Naas

Gordon Elliott hopes Pencilfulloflead can defy his penalty in the Naas Racecourse Business Club Novice Chase on Sunday.

The seven-year-old is giving away 8lb to some useful rivals following his victory in the Florida Pearl Novice Chase.

He has subsequently gone close in Grade One company behind the mare Colreevy, who certainly did that form no harm when bolting up this week.

“This won’t be easy for Pencilfulloflead as he has an 8lb penalty to carry for his Grade Two win over Latest Exhibition earlier in the season,” said Elliott.

“However, he will love the testing ground and the step up to three miles will be right up his street.

“He comes here off a fine run at Limerick over Christmas where he was touched off by Colreevy in a Grade One and the two-and-a-half-mile trip would have been sharp enough for him that day, so he should be a lot more at home over this distance.

“His penalty makes this a stiff enough test, but I’d expect him to mount a strong challenge.”

Elliott also has a strong second string to his bow in the shape of Escaria Ten, who was fifth behind Monkfish on his chasing debut before bolting up last time out.

“Escaria Ten is another nice staying type and I think there is a good prize to be won with him at this trip,” Elliott told Betfair.

“His first run over fences behind Monkfish was quite encouraging and I was delighted with his performance at Thurles just before Christmas when he won his beginners’ chase by 20 lengths.

“He is now taking a sharp rise in class, but this race has been his target since then and the best is yet to come from this horse, so I could see him running a big race.”

Henry de Bromhead’s Eklat De Rire won at Punchestown on his chasing bow, while Forza Milan has plenty of experience.