Gordon Elliott – Our Irish Trainer
by Ryan Tongue
24th February 2021

Gordon Elliott began his racing career as a teenager, working for Tony Martin at weekends and during school holidays. Having taken out his amateur rider’s license at the age of 16, he went on to be a prolific rider both in the point-to-point field and on the racecourse. He rode a total of 46 winners on the racecourse, with the highlight being his win in the Punchestown Champion Bumper on the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained King’s Road in 1998.

He also spent time as stable amateur for Martin Pipe. Like many that grew up under the tutelage of the legendary trainer, it is Martin that Gordon credits for teaching him the art of getting a horse fit and producing horses with limited ability to win races.

Having hung up his riding boots at the end of 2005, he began to concentrate on his new career as a trainer the following year.

Having set up base in his home country, it is quite remarkable that Gordon’s first five winners were all in Britain. However, even more astonishing is the fact that in his first season with a trainer’s licence he trained the winner of the world’s greatest race, when Silver Birch under Robbie Power crossed the line in front of a packed Aintree grandstand! This success propelled Gordon up the training ranks and it was not long until further success followed both on the flat and over jumps.

In August 2010 Gordon trained Dirar to win Europe’s most lucrative flat handicap, the Ebor Handicap at York Racecourse and this was closely followed by his first Cheltenham Festival winner when Chicago Grey won the National Hunt Chase.

By 2016 Gordon was established as the only challenger to the all-conquering Wille Mullins yard and this was confirmed when Irelands biggest owner, Giggingstown Stud, moved their horses from Willie and into the care of Gordon. The highlight of this blossoming partnership was when the inanely talented Don Cossack won National Hunt racings blue ribboned event, the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

In recent years Gordon has become famous for his handling of duel Grand National and four-time Cheltenham Festival winner, Tiger Roll. This diminutive horse has caught the hearts of all racing fans and who would bet against him doing the unthinkable and equalling the great Red Rum’s record of three Grand Nationals, later this season.

Gordon currently trains just the one horse for Deva Racing, Glorious Zoff and it is fair to say that he could not have done a better job so far. After producing Glorious Zoff to win on hurdle debut at Sligo, he managed to improve him on the flat and Glorious Zoff ran out a good winner of a competitive handicap.

Gordon is now lining him up for the ‘Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle’ at this seasons Cheltenham Festival and the excitement of having our first runner at the mecca of jump racing, is hard to contain!

 

 

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