Gordon Elliott to return to normal service next week
‘We’ll be rearing to go again in the middle of the week, probably at Punchestown’
Gordon Elliott felt the time was right to give some of his horses a short break. Photograph: Inpho
Top trainer Gordon Elliott is anticipating a return to normal service next week after not saddling a single runner in the last seven National Hunt fixtures in Ireland.
Elliott confirmed on Friday he is giving the huge string at his Co. Meath stables a short break after not being happy with some of them on the back of last month’s Punchestown festival.
“A few horses weren’t scoping 100 per cent right after Punchestown and I figured now is the right time of year to take a pull and give them an easy week or ten days.
“Maybe I’m being a bit too paranoid but the horses come first, and the owners. I made a few entries and was tempted to run them but I just felt it would be better to sit on our hands for an extra few days.
“Missing five or six days at this time of year isn’t the end of the world and we’ll be rearing to go again in the middle of the week, probably at Punchestown (Wednesday,)” said the Gold Cup and Grand National winning trainer.
Roundstone was Elliott’s last runner at Cork last Friday. Over the following two days - at meetings in Wexford and Sligo - he had eight non-runners with “coughing” given as an explanation.
Normally the busiest yard in the country, Elliott has had one winner from just 11 runners in the fledgling new National Hunt season which began less than a fortnight ago.
Elliott has eight entries made for Killarney on Monday. But it now looks like Punchestown on Wednesday, where he has another eight, will be when normal service resumes.
In other news former champion jockey Declan McDonogh has lodged an appeal against the five day suspension he picked up at Gowran on Wednesday under ‘Non-Trier’ rules.
McDonogh rode the Dermot Weld trained Knowing You to finish fourth in a fillies handicap after which the stewards imposed a ban for breaching Rule 212A(ii.)
At the enquiry Weld said he felt McDonogh could have been harder on the filly “and in his opinion this was not his best ride.”