Gordon Elliott admits it’s ‘great to be back racing’ on return at Punchestown

Trainer out of luck on comeback as onlyrunner Oh Purple Reign is unplaced

Trainer Gordon Elliott (right) speaks with jockey Declan McDonogh prior to the start of the Donate To The Coast To The Curragh Cycle In Honour Of Pat Smullen Handicap at Punchestown on Tuesday. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Trainer Gordon Elliott (right) speaks with jockey Declan McDonogh prior to the start of the Donate To The Coast To The Curragh Cycle In Honour Of Pat Smullen Handicap at Punchestown on Tuesday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

Gordon Elliott was out of luck at Punchestown with his first runner since returning from suspension but declared it was “great to be back racing”.

The leading trainer was banned for 12 months, with half of that punishment suspended, after an image of him sitting on a dead horse was widely circulated on social media in March.

Elliott was also ordered to pay costs of €15,000 with the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board stating the punishment reflected “the seriousness of the offence and the damage to the Irish racing industry” after the image provoked huge public outcry.

After serving a ban of six months, during which time Denise Foster took temporary control of Cullentra stables, Elliott was free to begin making entries again from last Thursday – initially making five for Punchestown’s Flat fixture.

But he declared only two runners and with third reserve Alice Kitty failing to make the cut in race six, his solitary representative on Tuesday’s card was recent winner Oh Purple Reign in the Donate To The Coast To The Curragh Cycle In Honour Of Pat Smullen Handicap.

Ridden by Declan McDonogh, the four-year-old was the 9-2 second-favourite to follow up his Gowran Park victory of 13 days earlier, but was struggling towards the rear turning for home and ultimately beat just two rivals in 12th place behind 14-1 winner Khafaaq.

Elliott, who was in attendance at Punchestown, is set to saddle four runners on Wednesday’s National Hunt card at Sligo.

He said: “It’s great to be back racing and seeing faces that I haven’t seen in a long time.

“I would have obviously preferred if the horse ran a bit better, but it’s nice to be back.

“I have really missed coming racing over the last few months, so I’m looking forward to getting back into that routine again.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.