Irish trainer Gordon Elliott won six of the day’s seven races at Navan’s prestigious Troytown Chase fixture at accumulated odds of 41,276-1.
Elliott now leads reigning champion Willie Mullins in the Irish jump racing season’s prize-money-determined title race by almost 500,000 Euro (£424,500).
The highlight was the win for Empire Of Dirt (12-1) in the day’s feature race for jockey Bryan Cooper.
“I’ve never had six at one meeting on a day before,” said Elliott.
“I did have seven once spread between Bellewstown and Perth – I can’t believe it; they were good races too.
“It’s a day to enjoy – I have a good bunch of staff and a lot of nice horses – we’re delighted.”
Asked about taking the championship that Mullins has dominated for eight seasons, Elliott insisted that he had “no chance, no chance” of wrestling it away.
It was a third win in a row in the Troytown for the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National-winning trainer, who saddled 11 of the 25 runners.
The nine-year old Empire of Dirt, running in the colours of airline tycoon Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud racing operation, has April’s Aintree Grand National as a long-term aim and is currently a 33-1 shot for the race.
The Gigginstown-owned Rule The World was victorious in this year’s Grand National.
Willie Mullins has dominated Irish jump racing in general – and many of the big national hunt races right across these islands in particular – for eight seasons, but perhaps the balance is now shifting.
Mullins has the support of multi-millionaire American financier Rich Ricci – their horse Min was the only non-Elliott horse to win at Navan – but he did lose 60 horses owned by the Gigginstown House operation two or three months ago, which was a massive blow, and Elliott was one of the beneficiaries.
The ex-jump jockey simply churns out runners – 27 at Navan – at a very decent winning percentage, and if he keeps up this momentum could take some catching. Though Mullins has yet to race many big guns this season.
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