GORDON ELLIOTT HITS £1M AT PERTH
Gordon Elliott smashed his way through the £1m prize money barrier at Perth earlier today (Wednesday 24 April) after Braid Blue won the opening Heidsieck Monopole “The Party Has Started” Maiden Hurdle and Swingbridge came second in the Phil Nelson Handicap Chase.
The triple-Grand National winning trainer, whose first ever winner Arresting came at the Scone venue in 2006, said: “I’ve always loved coming here and I’m as proud of having 172 winners at Perth as well as the prize money. As usual we will be having runners at most of the meetings as it is also a popular course for a lot of our owners.”
Go Another One was an impressive four-length winner of the EBF Stallions Good Castle ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle. Trained in Ireland by John McConnell, he was sent off a well-backed 2/1 favourite before completing a double for Richard Johnson who is about to be crowned champion jump jockey for the fourth successive season.
Recent Scottish National-winning jockey Sean Quinlan recorded a 98/1 double on Jennie Candlish pair Stop Talking and Red Giant.
Looking ahead to tomorrow, Wicked Willy, who sprung a 20/1 upset over hurdles last time, bids to follow up as he reverts to fences in the feature race on day two of the Perth festival on Thursday.
A ready six-length scorer at Kempton last month, he faces seven rivals in the £30,000 Heineken UK River Tay Handicap Chase.
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies said: “He’s an exciting horse and has been in pretty decent form. We’ve given him a few runs over hurdles since Punchestown last spring and he should continue to do well now we’re going back chasing.”
Berwickshire-based Sandy Thomson saddles the sole Scottish runner in the shape of Saint Leo who was travelling like a winner when coming down four out at Ayr in March.
Dan Skelton recently became only the second jumps trainer in history to reach 200 winners in a season and he has top-weight Marracudja in the GS Group Handicap Chase.
The Warwickshire handler has a handsome strike-rate of 33 per cent with his raiders at the Scone venue.