The forward-thinking trainer not to miss when racing resumes

Envoi Allen winning the 2019 Champion Bumper

If one jumps trainer is to be relied upon to be ready to get cracking when racing resumes it is the man who trained 57 winners from May to July last year.

Gordon Elliott may be facing the most challenging period of his training career due to the lockdown and suspension of racing but is approaching the restart with reassuring optimism – so much so that he has advertised for an army of staff to help him and his team get through the coronavirus pandemic at Cullentra House in County Meath.

Elliott trained 156 jumps winners in the Irish season just ended, and a further 28 in Britain. Backing every one of his chase runners in Ireland in June last year would have yielded a level-stakes profit of £9.01.

Yet Elliott admits to having been “caught on the hop” in terms of staff in seasons gone by and intends being revved up and on the starting grid when racing resumes this time.

“We thought we’d approach it from a different angle this year and advertise in Ireland, England and France,” he said.

“We’ve found it hard over the past couple of years come July and August to get staff so we’re advertising good and early because we know we have a good number of horses to come back into training in the autumn.”

He added: “We’d be hoping that some people in Britain and France would fancy coming to Ireland for a stint, so that’s why we are casting the net out a bit further this year.”

Despite last season being cut short due to the coronavirus crisis, Elliott’s tally of 156 at the end of the last campaign was just 21 shy of the previous season’s tally.

Elliott, 42, also amassed just short of €3.8 million in prize-money in Ireland alone, as well as sending out seven winners at the Cheltenham Festival including Envoi Allen, Samcro and Sire Du Berlais. All this despite being relatively light in the stable staff department, according to the trainer.

Elliott explained: “It is no secret that it is hard to get staff in racing and I always felt last year that we could do with two or three more staff around the place. We don’t want to be caught on the hop again, which is why we are getting the word out early this year.”

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