Turf Talk: Gordon Elliott on track while Conti starts his season at Down Royal
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Turf Talk: Gordon Elliott on track while Conti starts his season at Down Royal

COUNTY MEATH trainer Gordon Elliott increased his lead over Willie Mullins in the Trainer’s Championship with a four-timer at Punchestown on the opening day of the season as his Cecil Corbett landed the Coral.ie Download The App Handicap Chase under jockey Davy Russell.

He was also victorious with Zanjabeel ridden by Mikey Fogarty, who won the opener before Fire In His Eyes, ridden by Grand National winning jockey David Mullins, took the third race on the card. The Jamie Codd ridden Baby Twig took the fifth.

Elliott’s prospects of winning a first Trainers’ Championship have been boosted in recent weeks with the arrival of twenty top quality Gigginstown horses from nearest rival Willie Mullins and his four-timer brings his prize total so far to €1,150,00 compared to Mullins’ €1,040,000.

Following his last win of the day, Elliott stated “I don’t think he (Cecil Corbett) stayed the last day at Kilbeggan and Davy gave him a good ride today.”

On day two of the opening meeting it was Henry De Bromhead who took the spoils in the main event when Sadler's Risk ridden by David Mullins held off a strong challenge from Lord Scoundrel in the Irish Daily Star Chase.

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"I'm delighted with that. He did it really nicely and it was a super ride from David," said de Bromhead.

"He was in right at the weights and the handicapper got it spot on. He'll probably go for the James Nicholson now and we'll see how he gets on in that.

"He jumped really well. I thought he got close to a couple but that's his style. He picked up when he asked him to and he's got a lot of class.

"That was his first test today and now we'll try him in the north. Unfortunately he's better going right-handed than left. He probably won't run on winter ground but I'll have to speak to Roger (Brookhouse, owner)."

Meanwhile, the Paul Nicholls trained Silviniaco Conti is set to kick off his campaign in the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal on November 5.

The dual King George hero has not been seen in competitive action since he was pulled up in the Grand National at Aintree in April.

Trainer Paul Nicholls revealed his plans saying: 'Silviniaco Conti is off to Down Royal for the three-mile Grade One and stable mate Le Mercurey will go out there on the same day for the two-and-a-half-mile Grade Two chase.

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Finally it was another great result for Irish racing as the Ballydoyle/Coolmore operation took all the top spots in the latest world racing rankings.

The TRC Global Rankings produce standings not just for jockeys, but also for trainers, owners and stallions. It found the Maestro of Ballydoyle, Aidan O'Brien to be the number one trainer and Ryan Moore to be top jockey.

The owners prize went to the Coolmore partners and their stallion Galileo who's offspring recently finished 1-2-3 in the Arc de Triomphe took the sire's award.