Gordon Elliott rated only evens to complete Troytown hat trick

A total of 14 of the 47 entries still left in the prestigious handicap are trained by Elliott

Gordon Elliott is in pursuit of a third win in a row in Sunday's €100,000 Ladbrokes Troytown Chase and bookmakers reckon this season's leading trainer has a potential stranglehold on the Navan feature.

A total of 14 of the 47 entries still left in the prestigious handicap are trained by Elliott who has won the race for the last two years with Riverside City and Balbriggan (2014.)

Significantly, Elliott has eight of the top dozen in the ratings with the stable stalwart Cause of Causes topweight.

However, it is Noble Endeavor who was immediately installed a 10-1 joint favourite favourite with the big race sponsors, alongside his stable companion, Mountain King, in an ante-post list dominated by the local trainer to such an extent he is rated just evens to complete a Troytown hat-trick.


Runner-up in last season’s Grade 2 Ten-Up Novice Chase over the course and distance last February, Noble Endeavor ran promisingly on his first start of the new season behind Snow Falcon in the Lismullen Hurdle.

Gigginstown rivals

He is currently set to carry 11.1 but he is only fifth highest rated of the Elliott contenders, with Ucello Conti and the Gigginstown pair of Roi Des Francs and Empire of Dirt ahead of him.

Mountain King, a Perth winner in September, is rated 6lbs below Noble Endeavor but last year’s winner, Riverside City, could face a struggle to make the field again.

Bless The Wings (11st) is another prominent Elliott runner in the betting while Noel Meade's mare Bonny Kate is rated a 12-1 shot in some lists. Ground conditions at Navan are currently "yielding".

Welsh-based trainer Rebecca Curtis has left in five entries, three more than Willie Mullins who still has the course winner Sambremont in contention.

Mullins used Sunday’s Beginners Chase to unveil both Douvan and the ill-fated Vautour over fences and the highly rated Rich Ricci-owned Min is in contention to line up this time.

Min started favourite to emulate both Douvan and Vautour in last season’s Supreme Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham but had to settle for the runner-up position behind Altior and hasn’t been seen in action since.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column