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Fairyhouse features key to Elliott's title assault
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Fairyhouse features key to Elliott's title assault
on 26 March 2018
Gordon Elliott intends to run 10 or 12 horses in the €500,000 BoyleSports Irish Grand National next Monday

GORDON Elliott could go a long way to securing his first champion trainer crown with huge prize-money up for grabs over the Easter weekend at Fairyhouse.

He intends to run "10 or 12" horses in the €500,000 BoyleSports Irish Grand National on Monday, while Shattered Love - winner of the JLT Novices' Chase at Cheltenham - could clash with the Willie Mullins-trained Footpad in Sunday's Ryanair Gold Cup.

"Shattered Love is in great form. She might go to Fairyhouse for the Ryanair Gold Cup," Elliott told At The Races.

"She's a massive mare - she looks like a gelding - and she keeps improving.

"She doesn't do anything fancy at home but when she gets the track, she's just relentless."

Samcro is likely to spearhead a formidable Elliott team at the Punchestown Festival.

Elliott currently leads Mullins by around 500,000 in the title race, but remains typically pessimistic about his chances.

"Like I said last year, I probably have no chance," said Elliott, who reached a record 194 winners for the Irish campaign on Sunday.

"Willie's ammunition for Punchestown is unbelievable, but we'll give it a good rattle. We'll do our best and that's all we can do."

Other Punchestown hopefuls for the Elliott team include Supreme Novices' Hurdle third Mengli Khan and Apple's Jade, who was third when defending her crown in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Elliott said: "Mengli Khan will probably go for the two-mile novice hurdle. Next year he'll definitely go chasing.

"Apple's Jade is grand. She came home (from Cheltenham) very quiet and she was bit under the weather for a few days, but she's back cantering away.

"She got beat fair and square by a very good horse on the day, but she just didn't run her race and wasn't herself.

"We'll train her for Punchestown now."

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