Elliott hails team with fingers crossed for Don Cossack

Gordon Elliott: describes squad for the season as the best he has ever had

PICTURE: Alain Barr (racingpost.com/photos) Elliott hails team with hopes for Cossack return
By Brian Sheerin 7:59AM 19 SEP 2016

THERE might be a cloud hanging over Don Cossack at Gordon Elliott’s stable but that has not stopped the trainer describing his team for the season as the best he has ever had.

Heading the star-studded squad is last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup hero, although whether he can return to the fray after injury remains in the balance.

“He has six weeks of road work under his belt and Ciaran Murphy and Dot Love have done a lot of work with him,” reported Elliott.

“His scans have been very good and we hope to have him back cantering within three or four weeks. If all goes well we should have him ready to rock in time to give him one run before the Gold Cup. I don’t know where that would be, but maybe something like the Kinloch Brae at Thurles could be on the agenda again.

“Whatever happens, he owes us nothing and we’ll do right by the horse. If he isn’t back to himself he’ll get a happy retirement at Gigginstown.”

Exciting novice chasers

Elliott revealed his biggest headache at the yard, although one he was happy to have, was separating his novice chasers.

He said: “Diamond King is very exciting. He wouldn’t be in love with real heavy winter ground so we’re going to aim him at the Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse before giving him a winter break and then we’ll have him ready for the JLT at Cheltenham.

“We have Prince Of Scars for staying novice chases, and Lieutenant Colonel, who is a new addition to the yard and a dual Grade 1 winner. Free Expression is still a novice but could have the option of handicaps, and Sutton Place is really exciting as well.

“Tycoon Prince is another horse we’ve always thought a lot of. He’s a massive horse but not slow. We think he’s built for fences and he has a very big engine.”

Read more about Gordon Elliott's talented team for the season in Monday’s Racing Post – get the edition on iPad NOW

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