Cheltenham festival: Gordon Elliott concerned about the ground


Gordon Elliott, who currently lies third in the Irish National Hunt trainers’ championship, has 13 possible starters at The Festival this year with Carlito Brigante, who won here two years ago in the Grade Three Coral Cup and Cause Of Causes, a declared runner for tomorrow’s Grade One William Hill Supreme Novices Hurdle, appearing to be his two best chances.

Elliott said: “I only got in last night and I am just about to go out and walk the course. The ground would be a worry for my horses – the more it dries out the better.

“I am looking forward to this year with Carlito Brigante – he is declared for the Listed Rewards4Racing Novices’ Handicap Chase tomorrow.”

Elliott had two winners at The Festival in 2011 and holds a good record at Cheltenham, with a 12% strike rate at the course overall.

The trainer continued: “My best result here would be two years ago with Carlito Brigante (Coral Cup) and Chicago Grey (who won the National Hunt Chase in 2011 and is entered in this year’s John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree).

“I am not sure about the handicaps yet, I only have Romanesco in the Kim Muir and Nina (Carberry) is going to ride him. Bonisland is entered in several but I don’t think he is going to get in, as to the others we will see later today.”

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