Very few National Hunt trainers in Ireland have risen up the ranks as quickly as Gordon Elliott. Having burst onto the scene by saddling Silver Birch to win the Grand National at Aintree in 2007, at which point he had not trained a single winner in Ireland, he was firmly established as a top five trainer by 2010/11 and is now leading Willie Mullins in the race to be Champion Trainer in Ireland.
Elliott has never been slow to send runners to the likes of Perth in search of winners, but he has also won more than his share of races at the bigger tracks in Great Britain, with his eight winners at the Cheltenham Festival, including Don Cossack’s victory in last season’s Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, being especially notable.
There is no doubt that Elliott will send the strongest team of horses he’s ever assembled to the Cheltenham Festival in 2017, with Apple’s Jade, Death Duty, Mega Fortune and Outlander heading his squad. He is also sure to be heavily represented in the handicaps at the meeting too.
With only a fortnight to go until the battle commences at Prestbury Park, Elliott spoke to attheraces.com’s Kevin Blake to tell us about his team of challengers for the big meeting.