Gerri Colombe (left) challenges Ahoy Senor in the Aintree Bowl on Thursday

Gerri sets the pace in Liverpool

Elliott's charge lands the Aintree Bowl

From Longford to Liverpool it hasn't been a bad week for Gordon Elliott.

Last Sunday the Summerhill man was in Pearse Park to cheer on the Royals in their Leinster SFC win over Longford and four days later he was in the winners enclosure himself in Liverpool as Gerri Colombe won the Grade 1 William Hill Aintree Bowl Chase on Thursday.

The Robcour-owned eight-year-old, who was runner-up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month, justified his 9/4 favouritism, saw off the challenge of Ahoy Senor on the run-in to take the honours by half a length.

“Jack said he was never happy with him the whole way, he said he was slack the whole way, but it shows the goods the horse has. He said he probably ended up in front too soon, but he’s a great horse. He only does what he has to do. We’re lucky to have him," said Elliott.

“I actually think he’d be a bit better on better ground, but it will be all systems go for the Gold Cup next year. We’ll probably go the same route again and keep dreaming."

Discussing his Grand National runners for Saturday, Elliott admitted some of his charges would have preferred better ground.

“To be honest, the ground’s probably gone against a few of them. Chemical Energy and Galvin would probably want better ground. Delta Work and Coko Beach will probably love the ground. I’m really happy with Delta - I’ve probably not had him working and moving this well in the past few years.”

Elliott's Bowl success aside, the opening day of the Aintree Grand National was a quiet one for Meath connections.

Willie Mullins' Il Etait Temps won the opening Novice Chase on Thursday's card and was the only Irish representative in the race.

Nicky Henderson's Sir Gino scored at 11/10 odds to see of Mullins' Kargesein the first of the day's Grade 1s, the Juvenile Hurdle.

Mullins was back in the winner's enclosure in the third Grade 1, the Aintree Hurdle when Impaire Et Passe survived a stewards Enquiry to hold off Bob Olinger and Langer Dan.

Elliott's second runner of the day Beacon Edge was sixth, 13 and a half lengths back.

In the Foxhunters Elliott's Hardline, under a fine ride by Josh Williamson (son of Norman), finished a commendable seventh at odds of 125/1 with Derek O'Connor maintaining his fine form as an amateur jockey by steering Its On The Line to victory for Emmet Mullins.

In the penultimate race of the day Gavin Cromwell's Path D'oroux was third under jockey Keith Donoghue from Dunshaughlin in the Red Rum Chase 11 lengths behind San Bruit.

There was no luck for Elliott in the closing bumper as Speculatrix had to settle for sixth, just seven and a half lengths behind the winner Diva Luna.