GORDON Elliott has confirmed that Denise ‘Sneezy’ Foster will fill the role as licensed trainer at Cullentra House Stables while Elliott is suspended.

Elliott will start a six-month ban next Tuesday following Friday's Referrals Committee hearing which found that he had damaged racing's reputation by being photographed sitting on a dead racehorse two years ago.

Based in Enfield, Co Meath, Foster is held in high regard by her professional colleagues. She trains approximately 20 horses and her most recent winner was Swiss Swoo at Dundalk last month. She saddled Lily’s Rainbow to win a listed race at Navan in 2016 and Not For Burning gave her a winner at the Fairyhouse Winter Festival.

A former riding instructor, she worked with show jumpers in Ireland and Belgium earlier in life. She was married to leading eventer David Foster, who competed in three Olympics before suffering a fatal accident while competing in 1998.

A statement on Elliott’s official Twitter account said: “Gordon Elliott Racing is pleased to confirm that Denise Foster will take over the licence at Cullentra Stables during the period of Gordon Elliott’s suspension.

“Denise is vastly experienced and her appointment is great news for staff and owners. Gordon will be available to assist her as she requires.”

A friend said: “Sneezy is a true horsewoman, who has enjoyed enormous success, given the opportunities she has had. She is well-liked by all sectors of the industry and she is a good people person. She is an excellent choice for the job.”

A relatively minor figure in Irish racing up to this point, Foster now finds herself as the official trainer of more than 200 racehorses and she will have a large number of runners at the Cheltenham Festival.

Triumph Hurdle favourite Zanahiyr will be one of her main Cheltenham hopes. Unfortunately she will be without the services of Envoi Allen, Quilixios and Sir Gerhard, as their owner Cheveley Park Stud moved their horses from Elliott to Willie Mullins and Henry de Bromhead last week.



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