Turf Talk: Paddy Grace on the week’s biggest talking points in racing

Turf Talk: Paddy Grace on the week’s biggest talking points in racing

MEATH handler Gordon Elliott is bidding to win the Ladbrokes Troytown Handicap Chase for the third consecutive year at Navan on November 27.

Elliott took the big prize with Balbriggan in 2014 and again 12 months ago with Riverside City, who is entered to run again.

He also has Cheltenham Festival winners Cause Of Causes and Empire Of Dirt entered to run. Also listed are the last three winners of the Irish National – Rogue Angel, Thunder And Roses and Shutthefrontdoor.

Navan racecourse manager Peter Killeen said: “It's great to see our flagship race, the Ladbrokes Troytown Handicap Chase, attracting such a strong entry with all the top trainers well represented.

“All of us here at Navan are really excited about what is our busiest meeting of the year and with some of the star horses that have been entered, it's certainly looking like we are going to have a very attractive offering for our racegoers on the day.”

Another Willie Mullins superstar is almost ready to return to action in the coming weeks. The superb Douvan is edging closer towards a return to action.

Six-year-old Douvan, a two-time Cheltenham Festival winner and unbeaten in 10 stars for The county Carlow handler, is reported to be in fine form.

Plans remain fluid, though, as Douvan limbers up for a first outing since he won the Ryanair Novice Chase at the Punchestown Festival in April.

Mullins told The Irish Times: “He's in great shape but it will be another few weeks before we think about running.”

Elsewhere, Irish jockey Paddy Brennan rode his 1,000th career winner over jumps when Colin's Sister justified favouritism at Warwick last Thursday.

Ardrahan native, Brennan, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Imperial Commander in 2010, won in perfect style on the Fergal O'Brien trained mare.

Brennan who has the ride on Cue Card, was delighted at hitting the landmark saying: “It's unbelievable. My ambition ever since I came to England was to ride 1,000 winners and win a Gold Cup and I've done that now.

“There are so many people to thank - trainers and, most of all, stable staff.

“There's been so many highlights along the way. I never thought I was that blessed with talent, that is genuine, I always felt I had to work extremely hard as people put doubts in my mind all the way through.

“I love proving people wrong and I love to think I'm an example to other young jockeys coming through, you might not be at the top but this is possible.”

As well as Cue Card and Imperial Commander, Brennan has ridden such top-class horses as Inglis Drever, Tidal Bay, Khyber Kim and Nacarat.