Elliott enjoys a double and promises his staff a half day!

Huge crowd at Navan for 100 anniversary celebrations

Gordon Elliott saddled seven horses in the Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan today and enjoyed a one-two when Run Wild Fred came home clear of Farclas on the day that the racecourse celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Irish Grand National runner-up Run Wild Fred made all over this three-mile trip and Davy Russell sent him clear before two out.

Mister Fogpatches (7/1) could make no impression and was caught for second close home by Farclas (11/2) who was unable to land a glove on the impressive winner. Peaches And Cream came in fourth at 33/1.

“I thought they were the two horses that maybe stood out among ours, a lot of the others ran good races,” said Gordon Elliott.

“I'm delighted for myself, number one, to win the race, for all the staff in the yard, for all my owners as well. Gigginstown have stood by me 100 per cent through thick and thin.

“It's proud day to be here at my local track and you can see all the crowd here, it's brilliant with family and friends enjoying it as well.

“As everyone knows we've been through a tough year but we're back now and we're training winners, the team I have behind me is unbelievable.

“You can see all the staff, and the way they turn the horses out, I'm proud of them all. I told them the other day if we won the Troytown they could have a half day tomorrow so I think I'm going to have to give them a half day!

“I haven't seen this kind of crowd racing since everything happened, people couldn't go racing with Covid-19. It's great to see a good crowd here today and a great atmosphere.

“Alex, my secretary, led him up as well so it's a great day for her as well.

“I know he was still a maiden over fences but he had good form. I believe to win these good staying handicap chases they have to be graded or listed placed the season before. That's what the first and second horses had done.

“Both of them could be Grand National horses, but I think the National Hunt Chase could be written all over this horse.

“Michael might have different ideas and it's a long time from here to March. I think the race is made for him and I'm a big believer in going for the race you think you can win.”

The first of Elliott's double was brought up when Hollow Games, owned by Noel and Valerie Moran of Bective Stud, maintained his unbeaten record in the Grade 3 Monksfield Novice Hurdle.

The 2/5 favourite was there to be shot at racing to the third last and soon came off the bridle.

He found plenty, though, and began to assert approaching the last. He put in a superb leap there and stayed on well to win by two and a quarter lengths from Lunar Display (10/3 from 9/2).

"He's a nice horse, it turned into a sprint. Davy said after the race 'he's not as slow as you think he is, when it turned into a sprint he quickened, put his head out and galloped'," said Elliott.

“I was worried as they went no gallop but he will have learned a lot there. I think he'll go to Naas now (Lawlors Of Naas Grade 1 Novice Hurdle).

“He's a horse that races behind the bridle but he's a real nice horse. It's great for Noel and Valerie as it's local and it's on television today.”

Castletown trainer Noel Meade took the last race on the card, the Coolmore NH Sires Flat race with The Model Kingdom justifying 2/1 favouritism to deny Elliott a treble by edging out Harmonya Maker into second.