Sunday 19 November 2017

Elliott plays down hopes of trainer's title

Trainer Gordon Elliott: title talk
Trainer Gordon Elliott: title talk

Johnny Ward

Gordon Elliott says he is "only half-a-million ahead" in the trainers' title race and has continued to say he has no chance of dethroning Willie Mullins.

An historic Navan six-timer on Sunday saw another lucrative handicap, the Troytown, go Elliott's way. He has had 217 runners this term to Mullins' 87 but pays no heed to title talk.

"Clearly Willie will be very hard to beat and I am not even thinking about it. With the ammunition he has, I probably have no chance," Elliott said.

The Co Meath trainer says that Campeador, a last-flight faller at the Cheltenham Festival when last seen, will run in Sunday's Bar One Racing Handicap Hurdle.

"I'm not sure if he'd have won the Fred Winter, how well he'd have gotten up the hill. However, he's as fit as I can get him without having a race for Sunday. I'd say I'll have six or seven runners in the Grade One races on Sunday," he added.

In Sunday's feature Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse, Vroum Vroum Mag went from 13/2 into odds-on with one firm yesterday.

JP McManus' racing manager Frank Berry says at this stage it is likely both Triumph Hurdle favourite Landofhopeandglory and stablemate Big Ben will go in the Grade Three Juvenile Hurdle.

Elsewhere, Brian Hughes is looking forward to riding Grand National runner-up The Last Samuri in Saturday's Betfred Becher Chase at Aintree.

Trained by Kim Bailey, The Last Samuri was beaten only by Rule The World in April.

Meanwhile, Horse Racing Ireland has established an Education and Training Grant programme to provide assistance to professional jockeys.

The programme will make a contribution towards the cost of any Quality and Qualifications Ireland-accredited course.

Irish Independent

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