Gordon Elliott set for flat return at Punchestown

Top national hunt trainer Gordon Elliott will return to the track with a runner on the flat at Punchestown on Tuesday after serving a six-month suspension that was imposed last March by the Irish Horse Racing Regulatory Board.

Moynalty jockey Declan McDonogh will partner the four-year-old Go Go Partnership-owned Oh Purple Reign which won last week at Gowran Park when under the care of Denise Foster who took over the reins during Elliott's ban.

Elliott's last winner on the track before the ban started was at Navan on Saturday 6th March when the Camilla Sharples-owned 14-year-old Kruzhlinin won a veterans' handicap chase and his last runners were at Leopardstown the following Monday and Tuesday.

Dnise Foster had a good innings in her temporary role and her first winner in that capacity was achieved at Wexford.

It was a case of third runner lucky for Foster who had her first winner from the Gordon Elliott-string at Wexford on Wednesday 10th March with the GIgginstown-owned Defi Blue landed a four-runner chase while her last winner was Oh Purple Reign

In an excerpt from an interview with Racing TV, which is scheduled to be aired in full on Monday, Elliott recalled the events of March.

"You think you're thick-skinned, until you see something like this," he said.

"It was terrible - I've never experienced anything like it in my life.

"We got a week of very bad social media, newspapers, television, Twitter and everything else like it.

"It is something I wouldn't ever like to experience again.

"For my family, it was unbelievable; for all the staff in the yard, for something very foolish I did, all the pain I put them through.

"For my family, friends, all my staff, even all the people in my village in Summerhill, it was terrible.

"I probably didn't show my face in Summerhill for three or four months after ... it wasn't nice.

"Obviously it was something very stupid I did. I apologised to everyone for what I did - but it was my fault, and the blame stops with me.

"I apologised to everyone, and all I want to do is put it behind me," he added.