Navan four-timer boosts Gordon Elliott’s trainer title chances

Diamond Cauchois leads 1-2 for trainer in featured Grade Two Ladbrokes Boyne Hurdle

Gordon Elliott is once again a slight favourite to beat Willie Mullins to this season's trainers' title after securing a four-timer at Navan on Sunday.

The 4-6 favourite Diamond Cauchois led home an Elliott 1-2 in the featured Grade Two Ladbrokes Boyne Hurdle while Monbeg Notorious and Mossback were also 1-2 in the Ten Up Chase.

Diamond Cauchois' rider Davy Russell reached 99 winners for the season with Lackaneen Leader's comfortable handicap hurdle success and Master of Tara finished the day on a high for his trainer by landing the bumper.

It was just the latest in a series of lucrative Sunday bonanzas for Elliott at his local track.


Although it came up short of Elliott’s famous six-timer at the 2016 Troytown fixture, this latest Sunday Navan meant a prizemoney haul on the day of almost €90,000 which stretched his lead over Mullins in the trainer’s table to well over €300,000.

Betting on the outcome of yet another epic championship struggle has fluctuated noticeably in recent weeks but the aftermath of the latest action saw Elliott and Mullins swap 4-5 and 10-11 odds with Powers.

The market spoke volumes in the Boyne Hurdle as Diamond Cauchois went right away from Mullins’s 6-4 shot Bapaume who weakened to finish only third.

Diamond Cauchois followed up an impressive handicap victory at the course in December and Elliott said: “He loves that soft ground. The ground will probably decide where we go with him.”

Master Of Tara was described as a “big baby” after his bumper victory and Elliott added: “He’s still very raw and a horse for next year but he’s nice.”

How much more racing is left for the 13 year old De Benno is debatable but James Grace’s veteran made the most of an advantageous mark to win the Opportunity handicap hurdle.

The popular grey is rated two stone superior over fences but transferred that level to the smaller obstacles to win by five lengths under Trevor Ryan.

“I said during the week, with the form he was in over fences, and the weight he had, he was a certainty,” said Tipperary based Grace.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

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