Gig­gin­stown era not over yet, says El­liott

Gloucestershire Echo - - SPORT -

GORDON El­liott ad­mits Michael O’leary’s de­ci­sion to wind down the Gig­gin­stown House Stud op­er­a­tion is a blow, but is keen to fo­cus on the fu­ture and en­joy his re­main­ing years train­ing for the team.

O’leary made the shock an­nounce­ment on Tues­day that he is plan­ning to phase out the fa­mous ma­roon and white silks over the next four to five years, with a pol­icy of not re­cruit­ing any new tal­ent mark­ing the be­gin­ning of the end.

El­liott has en­joyed staunch sup­port from O’leary dur­ing his train­ing ca­reer, and the pair en­joyed a spec­tac­u­lar high just last month when Tiger Roll be­came the first horse since Red Rum to se­cure back-to-back vic­to­ries in the Grand Na­tional at Aintree.

Be­fore that his­toric suc­cess, El­liott also sent out Gig­gin­stown’s Don Cos­sack to win the 2016 Chel­tenham Gold Cup.

He told PA Sport: “Gig­gin­stown have been very, very good to me all through my ca­reer so far.

“They’ve re­ally sup­ported me, and we’ve been lucky to have some great horses and great days to­gether.

“It is a blow, ob­vi­ously - they have plenty of horses with us. But there are a lot of other own­ers in the yard, and we’ve proven we can train - so hope­fully some other own­ers will come in.”

As well as Tiger Roll and Don Cos­sack, El­liott trains Gig­gin­stown’s pro­lific mare Ap­ple’s Jade and also houses Grade One-win­ning hur­dler Sam­cro tipped to shine over fences next sea­son.

El­liott added: “It’s not over yet. There’s still a few more years to go with them, and it’s just about push­ing on and mov­ing for­ward.”

Davy Russell and Tiger Roll won the Grand Na­tional

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