Friday, 2 June 2017

"I'm focused on the next thousand" says Cheltenham's top trainer Gordon Elliott

Reigning Cheltenham Festival top trainer Gordon Elliott insists he’s focused on the next landmark after celebrating his 1000th winner earlier this week.

The Irish handler earned six Festival wins including Labaik’s shock win in the Supreme, and Apple Jade’s Mares Hurdle win to pry the crown from dominant trainer Willie Mullins.

The County Meath-based trainer has enjoyed success in Britain’s biggest racing, with Grand National success in 2007 with Silver Birch, and Gold Cup glory with Don Cossack in 2015.

“It’s been a great season for us, and it was great to reach that landmark,” said Elliott.

“The yard have been fortunate to have some really good horses, and we’ve had a lot of good results and good days out.”

“We’ve worked hard and we’re hopeful for many more winners over the years, now we’re fully focused on reaching 2000 winners!”

Elliott gained his first taste of Cheltenham Festival success when Chicago Grey won the National 
Hunt Chase in 2011.

He’s also enjoyed two Festival wins with Gigginstown’s Tiger Roll, and a treble with Cause Of Causes who landed the Cross Country three months ago.

Rightdownthemiddle found Colin Tizzard's Sizing Codelco too good in a listed contest at Aintree.

This weekend Elliott saddles two runners to Perth. Rightdownthemiddle looks set to play a leading role in the feature race, City Of Perth Gold Cup.

The nine-year-old finished second at Aintree before falling when in a promising position at Punchestown last time out.

“He ran really well at Aintree and was a bit unlucky at Punchestown with a circuit to go,” said the Irishman.

“That form looks to be pretty good, and we’re happy with him. He seems well at home and we’re hoping he can run well.”

Meanwhile Elliott’s training ability will be put to the test as he saddles Arizona Bound.

The five-year-old has been well beaten in two starts in point-to-point contests, and has a bit to prove on his first racecourse appearance.

“He’s in good form at home but he’s been a bit disappointing in two runs in point to points,” said Elliott.

“His work has been good, and we are expecting a bit better from him.”

Champion jockey Richard Johnson will partner both of Gordon Elliott’s chances.

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