This season has been a rebuilding exercise for Gordon Elliott, not only his stable but also his reputation. In fairness, he is doing a good job of both. He is a very strong character and he has an unbelievably strong team to head to Cheltenham with next month.
Since serving his ban, He has landed 112 winners in Ireland, still no match for champion trainer Willie Mullins. However, he is still a clear second and the yard is thriving. Among those successes have been five Grade 1 victories, including with Galvin in the Savills Chase and Conflated in the Irish Gold Cup at the Dublin Racing Festival most recently.
Elliott did a Stable Tour with Brian Sheerin of the Racing Post and one quote jumped out to us more than any other! We really get the feeling that he feels this horse in particular has a huge chance next month at Cheltenham.
Riviere D’etel was robbed at Leopardstown, that is a fact of life. Only for a clumsy jump at the last, she would have beat Blue Lord in the Arkle at the Dublin Racing Festival.
Elliott was quoted saying in his stable tour: “I thought she was very good at Leopardstown and if she’d have jumped the last I think she’d have won. She’s relaxing a lot better in her races and Cheltenham will really suit her the way she stays. She has a big chance.”
After her bad jump at the final fence, she rallied gamely and would have got back up in a matter of strides but the line came in time for Blue Lord. This greater emphasis on stamina at Cheltenham is surely going to suit her down to the ground. She is currently a 9-2 shot for the Arkle, but at the weights she is a better horse than Blue Lord, in my view!
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