Gordon Elliott continued in red-hot form with four winners at Navan on Saturday.
The day started on the right note as Jigoro landed the Mervyn Gray Construction Maiden Hurdle under Jack Kennedy at 5/2, a convincing victory after making the running on his second start over hurdles.
The French-bred four-year-old is owned by Bective Stud and finished nine lengths ahead of Tom Coopers’ Butcher Hollow.
“It was a good performance and we knew he had improved plenty from the first day,” said Elliott.
“Obviously there was a lot of talk about Tom Cooper’s horse and I thought it was a good performance.
“Jack was delighted with him and said he’ll stay further. He said a faster gallop would have suited him but he was very happy with the run.
“He could go for the four-year-old hurdle at Limerick over Christmas.”
Caldwell Potter then provided another wide-margin success for the stable when landing the Headfort Arms Hotel Maiden Hurdle by seven lengths under Kennedy.
That looked pretty, pretty good ??
Eyecatching grey Caldwell Potter wins the two-mile maiden hurdle @NavanRacecourse doing proverbial handstands under @jackkennedy15 @gelliott_racing's inmate holds an entry in the @paddypower Future Champions Novice Hurdle @LeopardstownRC pic.twitter.com/TsDTp7x60d— Racing TV (@RacingTV) December 9, 2023
The grey is a full-brother to the late Grade 1 winner Mighty Potter and was second on his hurdles debut last time out at Punchestown.
“He was a weak horse but he’s got a lot stronger,” Elliott said of the 8/13 favourite.
“We’ll try and keep it small with him if we can. He’s a chaser in the making, he’s a brother to Mighty Potter.”
There was a pause in the Elliott dominance as Henry de Bromhead took the Tote Navan Novice Hurdle with Slade Steel and Willie Mullins won the Listed Bective Stud, Tea Rooms & Apartments Handicap Hurdle with We’llhavewan – a seven-length winner at 10/1 under Paul Townend.
Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father Willie, said: “We weren’t sure about the ground but we stuck cheekpieces on him and we were getting in with a light weight.
“It was great prize-money so we took our chance and it’s brilliant. It’s a brilliant pot.
“He’s rated lower over fences but he didn’t jump fantastic over fences before. Paul came in there and said he might be better now so we might look at something over fences next.”
The Mullins team also took the Durnin Workshop Beginners Chase with Indiana Dream, a 13-length winner under Mark Walsh at 5/2.
Blimey ??— Racing TV (@RacingTV) December 9, 2023
Indiana Dream makes mincemeat of a strong field in the beginners' chase @NavanRacecourse @WillieMullinsNH was returning from a 342-day absence and looks an absolute natural over fences ... pic.twitter.com/9uTCFlw1j7
Elliott was back in the prizes in the Listed Foxrock Handicap Chase, where Embittered defied odds of 16/1 to score by nine lengths under conditional rider Carl Millar.
“He won well and it was a nice pot,” said the trainer.
“He had nice run the last day in Cork, we were delighted with it, and he did it well there today. Carl is good value for 7lb.
“I’ve no real plan for him, we’ll try and find something similar.”
The final event of the day was also claimed by Elliott, though this time he was fraternising with the enemy somewhat as Patrick Mullins took the ride on My Trump Card in the Timeless Sash Windows INH Flat Race and won by nine lengths as the 30/100 favourite.
“He’s a lovely big galloping horse, a smashing horse, and he’s a horse for the future.
“He’ll go jumping now. He improved plenty from the last day, in fairness, so we’re delighted.
“It looked like a winnable race. We had another horse to run but he didn’t work as well as I thought he would the other day.
“He could maybe run again over hurdles at Christmas.”