For the first time since early March, a Gordon Elliott runner entered a winning fence at Sligo on Wednesday when the Grand National-winning coach registered his first success after being banned from the sport for six months when a photograph appeared , who showed him posing fighting dead horse at the gallops.
Elliott saddled two favorites on the Sligo card, and while The Sliding Rock (8-13) finished third out of four earlier in the afternoon, the Fancy Foundations, with equal money, were a comfortable four-length winner of Templehouse Lake Chase, returning to warm applause. from the crowd.
The image of a smiling Elliott sitting on Morgan, a seven-year-old who died of an aneurysm in 2019, made headlines around the world when it was published online in late February. He was banned by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board’s Referrals [disciplinary] committee on 5 March and was also fined € 15,000 [£12,800] for an action that the panel described as “unforgivable … [but] nevertheless an event that took place without consideration or deliberation over a period of a few seconds. ”
Several high-profile horses left Elliott’s stable in the wake of the case, including Envoi Allen, one of Ireland’s best hunting opportunities, and Sir Gerhard, the winner of the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival a week later.
He has also since parted ways with leading British-based owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, following a BBC Panorama study released in July showing secretly filmed footage of one of their horses, Vyta Du Roc being slaughtered in a British slaughterhouse.
“It was nice to get that reception from the people here,” Elliott said. “I have missed them for the last six months, just as much as they have missed me. It’s brilliant for my staff, they’ve worked hard. Alicia, the girl who led the horse, is going back to college next week to be a vet, and it was the first time she was leading a winner, so that’s great. ”
Fancy Foundations could be among Elliott’s first runners in the UK after his ban, as he is being considered for a novice hunt at Cheltenham’s Showcase meeting on 22 and 23 October.