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Very few National Hunt trainers in Ireland have risen up the ranks as quickly as Gordon Elliott. Having burst onto the scene by saddling Silver Birch to win the Grand National at Aintree in 2007, at which point he had not trained a single winner in Ireland, he was firmly established as a top five trainer by 2010/11.
He soon emerged as the biggest challenger to the dominance of Willie Mullins and made him pull out all the stops in the trainers’ championship in both 2016/17 and 2017/18, saddling a remarkable 210 winners in Ireland in the latter campaign. While he came up just short of Mullins in the championship on those occasions, he did have the satisfaction of being crowned the leading trainer at the Cheltenham Festival in both 2017 and 2018.
Last season saw Elliott secure multiple accolades, but without question the highlight of his campaign was the remarkable achievements of Tiger Roll. Not only did he gain his second win in the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, he made history by becoming the first horse since Red Rum to win two Grand Nationals on a day that will never be forgotten at Aintree.
With Elliott having perhaps his strongest-ever team to go to war with, he spoke to attheraces.com’s Kevin Blake to tell us about their prospects.