Gordon Elliott (racehorse trainer)

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Gordon Elliott (born 2 March 1978)[1] is a County Meath-based National Hunt racehorse trainer[2] from Ireland who was 29 when his first Grand National entry, the 33 to 1 outsider[3] Silver Birch won the 2007 race on 14 April 2007. Owned by Brian Walsh of County Kildare, and ridden by Robbie Power, the horse held off McKelvey and Slim Pickings to win the Aintree Racecourse event.[4] In 2018 and 2019 he won the Aintree Grand National with his horse Tiger Roll, ridden by Davy Russell and owned by Gigginstown House Stud, the first horse since Red Rum to win the race twice. In 2018 he also won the Irish Grand National.

Early life[edit]

At the age of thirteen Gordon first entered the racing world, working for Tony Martin at weekends and holidays. This developed into a full-time job as soon as he could leave school. Taking out his amateur licence at sixteen, Gordon's first winner came in a bumper at Ballinrobe on board Caitriona's Choice, trained by Michael Cunningham for whom Gordon would go on to ride many winners.

Jockey[edit]

As a jockey Gordon achieved good success, notably two winners at Cheltenham, the Punchestown Champion Bumper and five winners in the United States of America. He retired as a jockey in 2005.[5]

Trainer[edit]

On 14 April 2007 Gordon Elliott become the youngest ever trainer to win the world's most prestigious steeplechase, the Aintree Grand National.[6] The horse, Silver Birch, was bought from Paul Nicholls. Despite having won the Grand National, Elliott had not at that stage trained a winner on the track back home in Ireland. The first winner he trained in Ireland was Toran Road at Kilbeggan on 5 May 2007.[5]

Although best known for his victories over jumps, Elliott had a major win on the flat in August 2010 when Dirar won Europe’s most lucrative Flat handicap Ebor Handicap at York Racecourse.[7]

His first winner at the Cheltenham Festival as a trainer was Chicago Grey in the prestigious National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup in 2011.[8]

He won the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup for the first time with Don Cossack.

In the 2017 Cheltenham Festival he finished as the top trainer for the first time with six wins. It was the same number of wins as Willie Mullins but Elliott had one more second place than Mullins. In the 2017 Grand National Elliott trained Cause of Causes which came second. Elliott finished the 2016/17 season in second place to Mullins in the Irish national hunt trainer Championship.

In the 2018 Cheltenham Festival he finished as the top trainer this time with eight wins. That equalled a record set by Willie Mullins in 2015.[9]

On 2 April 2018 Elliott won the Irish Grand National for the first time after saddling a record 13 horses.[10]

In 2018 he also won the Aintree Grand National with his horse Tiger Roll, ridden by Davy Russell and owned by Gigginstown House Stud (Michael O'Leary), narrowly beating the Willie Mullins runner Pleasant Company. Elliott also trained the third place horse Bless The Wings. He won the Aintree Grand National again in 2019 with Tiger Roll, only the sixth repeat winner in the race's history.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ O'Connor, Brian. "Gordon Elliott: Irish racing's great 'blow-in' is set to raise Cheltenham storm". The Irish Times. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  2. ^ Robson, Nick (14 April 2007). "Elliot Bullish over Birch Chance". sportinglife.com. Retrieved 14 April 2007.
  3. ^ Simon Hart Few Clues to "sick a pin in" winner" Sunday Telegraph (Sports Section p13) 15 April 2007: If yesterday was all about Walsh's eye for a bargain and the skill of Power and trainer Gordon Elliott in getting the most out of unfulfilled talent, it was also about the failures of the far-more fancied runners with bigger stories to tell.
  4. ^ Palmer, Justin (14 April 2007). "Silver Birch wins Grand National thriller". Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 14 April 2007.
  5. ^ a b "Trainers Data". www.goracing.ie. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  6. ^ McKee, Ross (8 April 2017). "Will Irish strike gold at the National?". BBC News. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Dirar wins Ebor Handicap at York". BBC Sport. 18 August 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  8. ^ "The rise and rise of Gordon Elliott". RTÉ Sport. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  9. ^ Charlesworth, Ricky (13 March 2015). "Cheltenham Festival 2015: Trainer Willie Mullins scoops eighth win to break festival record". irishmirror. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  10. ^ Yates, David (2 April 2018). "General Principle wins the Irish Grand National in thrilling race at Fairyhouse". irishmirror. Retrieved 3 April 2018.