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Gordon Elliott: returns to the Cheltenham Festival next week after missing last year
Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Gordon Elliott has described his team for next week’s Cheltenham Festival as “savage” as he prepares to return to the meeting for the first time since 2020.
Elliott was beginning a six-month suspension from the sport at the time of last year’s festival, but the trainer has come back as strong as ever this season and spoke to the Racing Post for a major interview in Sunday’s newspaper on the eve of his return .
“I promise you, we have a savage team going over to Cheltenham,” he said. “Lads are asking me to give them one winner for the week, but it’s not easy to pick one of them out. We have some serious chances every day.
“Look, maybe I might have no winner, it could happen, but the horses are running well, they’re healthy, the sun is coming out and my jockeys are riding well. The horses are flying, I’m telling you. When you see ordinary horses running well, horses running to their full potential, that’s when you know the team are in form.”
Indeed, when asked for a charity bet at a recent preview night in Navan, Elliott couldn’t pick one out, instead nominating seven for a Super Heinz, among them Tiger Roll, about whom he is particularly bullish for the Cross Country Chase despite also running high-class stablemate Delta Work in the same race.
“It will be hard for Delta Work to win on his first time around that course,” he said. “If the ground is decent he definitely won’t beat Tiger. If the ground is decent, they won’t see which way Tiger goes. He’s flying.”
Asked what would be top of his wishlist for next week, Elliott added: “I’d love to win another Gold Cup. And I’d love to do it for Ronnie Bartlett. What a man. He’s just a proper fella.”
Read more from Gordon Elliott in The Big Read, available online for Members’ Club Ultimate subscribers from 6pm on Saturday or in Sunday’s Racing Post newspaper. Click here to sign up.
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