Embarrassed trainer Gordon Elliott claims his first winner since returning from six-month suspension for sitting on a dead horse as favorite claims Fancy Foundations race in Ireland
- Gordon Elliott had his first winner since returning from a six-month suspension
- Trainer, 43, was suspended for 12 months, with half that sentence suspended
- Favorite Fancy Foundations gave him back his first success on a racecourse
Gordon Elliott has had his first winner since returning from his six-month suspension for riding a dead horse.
The leading Irish trainer, 43, was banned for 12 months, with half that sentence suspended, after an image of him sitting on a dead horse went viral on social media in March.
Elliott was also ordered to pay €15,000, with the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board declaring that the penalty reflected ‘the seriousness of the offense and the damage to the Irish racing industry’ after the statue sparked huge public outcry.
Gordon Elliott was banned for 12 months – banned for six months – after this image of him sitting on a dead horse went viral on social media in March
The trainer had his first winner since he came back from his suspension on Wednesday afternoon
After a six-month suspension during which Denise Foster took temporary control of Cullentra stables, Elliott was free to resume registrations starting last Thursday.
He saddled his first runner since March 8 on Tuesday’s Flat card in Punchestown – where Oh Purple Reign finished well beaten.
The four-year-old gelding finished 12th out of 14 in the Donate To The Coast To The Curragh Cycle honoring Pat Smullen Handicap.
The Grand National and Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning handler was widely expected to come off the track on Wednesday in the opening race back over the jumps at Sligo in Ireland.
However, 8-13 favorite The Sliding Rock made a big mistake in closing out the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Beginners Chase, finishing third out of four runners.
With Silver Star and Imperial Sachin’s also bad luck later on the map, it was left to Elliott’s last runner of the day Fancy Foundations to come up with the goods at the Templehouse Lake Chase – which he eventually did in fighting style.
Faced with only three rivals, the even-money favorite didn’t always convince in the jump department, but dug deep for jockey Denis O’Regan after the final hurdle to beat Blackstair Rocco by four lengths.