Sunday 21 January 2018

Revealed! Where the top equine stars Gigginstown has taken out of Willie Mullins' yard are headed

Michael O'Leary and Willie Mullins
Michael O'Leary and Willie Mullins

Johnny Ward

GORDON Elliott will get around 20 horses arising from the sensational split between Gigginstown and Willie Mullins, including Apple's Jade and Don Poli, the Irish Independent can reveal.

Elliott, Mouse Morris, Henry de Bromhead, Joseph O'Brien and Noel Meade are to benefit from the Mullins stable's loss of what is reported to be 60 horses over a disagreement about revised fees.

Incredibly, Elliott is suddenly odds-on favourite with Paddy Power to win the Irish trainers' title next season, though he has played that down.

But getting the hugely impressive four-year-old filly Apple's Jade from Mullins as well as Gold Cup third Don Poli will likely give Elliott a realistic chance of winning the Irish championship, which is decided on prize-money, for the first time.

He told the Irish Independent: "I've been told that I will get about 20 horses, including Don Poli, Apple's Jade, Lucky Pass, Outlander and Blow By Blow.

"Willie is a gentleman, a man I admire and look up to. This is obviously a big boost for us, another step up the ladder towards being champion trainer one day, that is what I hope.

"I am still realistic to know that  Willie Mullins has so much ammunition but hopefully some day it will happen for me.

"I had no idea this would happen."

With Don Cossack out injured and in danger of never racing again, Don Poli is something of a ready-made replacement for Elliott but, considering the talent Apple's Jade showed in routing her Grade 1 juvenile foes at Aintree and Punchestown last season, she will be seen as the trump card of the switch.

Paddy Power make Elliott their new favourite to be champion trainer for the first time at 8-11, with Mullins available at evens.

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