Gordon Elliott Stable Tour: 2021/22 Season

Elliott

Gordon Elliott

Gordon Elliott has had a year to forget and for many racing fans, he’s fortunate to be back training racehorses again.

Wrongly or rightly, the reality is that he’s served his punishment and is able to return back to racing, and does so with many good horses still in training at Cullentra House.

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest names.

Abacadabras

7yo, bay gelding

Form: /2152F1-4

Verdict: Was memorably just edged out by Shishkin in the 2020 Supreme, but stuck to hurdles last season, with a mixed bag of success and never really looked a Champion Hurdle contender despite falling in the race in March. He was upped in distance to 2m4f when winning the Aintree Hurdle in April, but dropped back to 2m in defeat in the Champion Hurdle at Punchestown. You’d think he would go chasing this season.

Andy Dufresne

7yo, bay gelding

Form: /113P-

Verdict: Looked to be fulfilling his potential when winning his first two starts over fences, including the Klairon Davis Novice Chase at Navan in December. However, he’s struggled to mix in Grade 1 company since then, including when pulled up last time out Gold Cup Novice Chase at Fairyhouse. Rated 149 over fences, he wouldn’t be ruled out of handicap company, and there should be still more to come from him.

Battleoverdoyen

8yo, bay gelding

Form: /1466-301

Verdict: Has always been well thought of by many of the leading figures associated with Cullentra House, but has struggled to live up to that reputation on the racecourse. A switch to summer again this year has seen him to better effect, winning the Arthur Guinness Chase at Galway. That is some way lower than where he was destined to go, and as a winter horse, he might have had his chance.

Black Tears

7yo, bay mare

Form: /3311-

Verdict: A mare in a million last season, winning both of her starts in 2021, starting with the Quevega Mares Hurdle at Punchestown, before receiving a cracking ride from Jack Kennedy to win the Mares’ Hurdle at the Festival. She’s always been a consistent performer, but took her form to a new level last season and Gordon Elliott will be hoping he can build on that this term, with chasing even an option.

Delta Work

8yo, brown gelding

Form: /5U3-

Verdict: Delta Work never really got going last season and you’d have to think that he’s better than his recent form would suggest. A best effort last term of a beaten 3rd in the Irish Gold Cup isn’t much to write home about for a horse that is a multiple Grade One winner. An eight-years-old he’ll have another chance to prove himself as a genuine Gold Cup candidate this season.

Fury Road

7yo, bay gelding

Form: /142P-P

Verdict: Third in the Albert Bartlett in 2020, Fury Road looked to be a horse that was going places, and last season got off to the perfect start when winning the Celebration Hurdle at Punchestown. He was later fourth in the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown and second in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan, but that was as good as it got. Pulled up in the Stayers at Cheltenham and Punchestown was no way to end the season and you’d expect him to go chasing this time.

Galvin

7yo, bay gelding

Form: /11111-

Verdict: Unbeaten in five runs last season and duly delivered on the plan to put him away in October and win the National Hunt Chase at the Festival. He did that by winning a battle up the Cheltenham hill with Next Destination and Escaria Ten, and looked every inch a stayer over the 3m6f trip. He’d surely be a National horse in time, but that might be for further down the line.

Grand Roi

5yo, bay gelding

Form: /3120-

Verdict: Finished last season down the field in Coral Cup, but this is a horse that loves the mud and is 2 from 3 when heavy has been in the going description, finishing on his other start on heavy. With that in mind, you’d think he’d have a cracking a chasing this term and that could mean that the best is yet to come.

Hollow Games

5yo, bay gelding

Form: /11-

Verdict: An expensive purchase for Noel and Valerie Moran, this 5yo remains unbeaten in two racecourse outings and a point-to-point run. He was last seen winning a bumper at Leopardstown in December, and you’d expect he would go hurdling this season.

Queens Brook

6yo, bay mare

Form: /123-

Verdict: Is yet to win in Graded company, but was third in the 2020 Champion Bumper and good over hurdles last season without being great. Connections have always said that two-and-a-half miles would be her ideal and she took a step closer to that when a well beaten third in a Mares Grade 2 in November. She’ll need to take a step up on that form to be competitive in the big races this season.

Samcro

9yo, chestnut gelding

Form: /3PP-160

Verdict: A fan favourite for many jumps racing followers, Samcro owes nothing to nobody, and although last season was far from his best, he did win a Grade 3 at Killarney in May. That allowed him to continue on through the summer, but has been below par on his last two runs and it will be interesting to see what happens next.

Sire Du Berlais

9yo, bay gelding

Form: /132-

Verdict: A two-time winner at the Cheltenham Festival, he was unlucky not to make that three last season when running on well to finish second in the Stayers’ Hurdle just a few months ago. He was lightly raced last season, winning at Navan and placed at Leopardstown and its likely that a similar route will be taken this season.

The Bosses Oscar

6yo, bay gelding

Form: /12226-2

Verdict: Had a great start to last season winning at Thurles before being placed at Navan and Leopardstown before the turn of the year, and then finished second in the Pertemps at the Festival. He’s already got his new campaign underway with a runner-up effort over fences at Listowel in September, and he’ll be one to add to the tracker this season.

Tiger Roll

11yo, bay gelding

Form: /P614-

Verdict: An absolute Jumps racing legend, Tiger Roll will go down in the history books and add another achievement to his glittering CV by adding a fourth Festival victory with a third success in the Cross Country last March. The Grand National hat-trick bid was controversially sidestepped for the Betway Bowl at Aintree, where he was last of the four runs. It would be a surprise to see him go for the National again in what could be his swansong season, but you can be sure he’ll be aiming at the Cross Country once again.

Escaria Ten

7yo, bay gelding

Form: /5123P

Verdict: A lovely staying chaser, Escaria Ten showed great consistency last season, winning at Thurles in December before going on to be second in a Grade 3 at Naas and close third to stablemate Galvin in the National Hunt Chase. There should be more improvement as he steps into Graded company this season.

Fakiera

6yo, bay gelding

Form: /11240-

Verdict: A winner of a Grade 2 and 3 at Naas over 2m4f last season, Fakiera was certainly heading in the right direction when a close enough 4th in a Grade 1 won by Gaillard Du Mesnil at Leopardstown in February. He then looked to be travelling strongly as they turned for home in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham, but seemingly didn’t get up the hill and emptied quickly. The three mile trip might have been the excuse, and maybe two-and-a-half will be his distance.

Zanahiyr

7yo, chestnut gelding

Form: /11142

Verdict: A winner on the Flat, this 4yo quickly emerged as a Triumph Hurdle horse last season, winning his first three races over obstacles. That sent him off as favourite for the Triumph, but he didn’t quite stay on up the hill, and finished a beaten 4th. You’d expect him to maybe go up in trip after that this season.

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