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Which horses give Gordon Elliott the best chance of Cheltenham redemption?

Last year was certainly one to forget for Gordon Elliott. His reputation as one of the best horse racing trainers around was massively tarnished when indecent images of him sat on a dead horse caused worldwide outrage — resulting in a 12-month ban, six of which were suspended. Not only did it mean he missed the Cheltenham Festival, but in the time away he’s seen plenty of other trainers pick up the mantle and leave him playing catch up, with the likes of Willie Mullins and Henry de Bromhead enjoying great form recently.

Elliott’s licence was returned last September and while that did leave him with six months until Cheltenham, his reputation took a severe dent and it will take a lot for spectators to warm to him again. In his absence, Denise Foster took charge behind closed doors at Prestbury Park, notably winning the Cross Country Chase with Tiger Roll.

At the end of the day, this is a trainer with 32 winners to his name at Cheltenham, and he will have plenty to prove this year to once again be the talk of the town. Read on, as we look at the horses that give Elliott the best chance at a redemption arch for this year’s Festival.

Galvin

“The way he stays if he can get into a rhythm anywhere at all, I wouldn't care if he was first or last going out on the last circuit, he'll come very strong in the Gold Cup” The way Elliott speaks about Galvin makes it clear what he thinks of his chances in the horse racing odds for UK racing. The Gold Cup is certainly no easy feat, with a plethora of a Grade One winners all capable of taking the top spot, including the likes of A Plus Tard and Minella Indo, making it an extremely fierce competition.

Conflated

Running alongside Galvin in the Gold Cup is stablemate Conflated, and while he may not have garnered as much attention in the lead up to the race, the unpredictability of Cheltenham means an upset is always on the cards, and the eight-year-old’s surprise win in Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown adds a new dynamic to the race. Having come in at 18/1, he was definitely an unexpected winner, but with Michael O’Leary also considering him for the Ryanair Chase, Conflated could have another shot at writing his name into Cheltenham folklore.

Party Central

If Elliott is to come up short in his Grade One entries this year, he can take some comfort in the knowledge Party Central is one of the favourites for the Grade Two Mares' Novices' Hurdle. Having won her last two races, including a brilliant performance at Leopardstown where she saw off the likes of Bantown Girl and Elliott’s other entry Say Goodbye in the Paddy Mullins Mares Handicap Hurdle, Party Central comes into Cheltenham riding the crest of a wave.

The six-year-old has all the makings of a future champion and having looked like she’s overcome the inconsistency that cost her at Down Royal at the start of the season, it should be a relatively routine victory come Cheltenham.

About The Authors

Alberto Thompson

Alberto Thompson - I live in Vancouver, Canada, and work as a web developer and graphic designer. Back end programming (PHP, Django/Python, Ruby on Rails) to front end engineering (HTML, CSS, and jQuery/Javascript), digital usability, user interface, and graphic design are all areas of web development where I spend my days. I'm a huge fan of web creation and design in all of its forms, as well as assisting small businesses and artisans with their online presence.

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