Gordon Elliott makes five entries for Punchestown as ban for dead horse photo ends

By Melissa Jones

Gordon Elliott has made his first entries at the conclusion of a six-month ban handed out by the authorities.

The Irish trainer was suspended after a photo of him sitting astride a dead horse at his stables was published on social media last February.

The 43-year-old, who saddled Silver Birch (2007) and Tiger Roll (2018 and 2019) to win the Grand National at Aintree, was banned for 12 months, with half of it suspended.

From today Elliott is permitted to make entries in races – and he has pencilled in five possible runners at Punchestown on September 14.

Oh Purple Reign could be the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer's first one back in the Donate To The Coast To The Curragh Cycle In Honour Of Pat Smullen Handicap, while Captain Middleton may contest the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden.

Trainer Gordon Elliott could return at Punchestown on Tuesday (PA)

Alice Kitty and Royal Eagle have been entered in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap, with Gift Of Kings his other contender of the afternoon in the Irish Racing Working Together Handicap.

On Wednesday, Elliott has planned to return to the National Hunt scene, choosing from seven possible runners at Sligo.

He has the option of contesting every race on the card – although Chesterville and Silver Star both hold two optional engagements.

Speaking earlier this week, Eddie O'Leary, racing manager for Gigginstown House Stud said Elliott had "done his time."

“He’s learned a lot and he will come back bigger and better," he added.

"He has changed in an awful lot of ways.”

Elliott was ordered to pay costs of €15,000 in addition to the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board suspension.

Denise Foster took temporary control of his Cullentra base in Co Meath and she saddled a winner on the first day of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, when Black Tears took the Mares' Hurdle.

Envoi Allen was one of Gordon Elliott's star horses to be taken away from his yard (PA)

Dual Grand National hero Tiger Roll also returned to winning ways with a comprehensive victory in the cross country race.

Elliott added to his string of horses at the Goffs UK September Sale on Wednesday, where Gigginstown held their annual dispersal.

The trainer purchased one of their representatives named Forged In Fire, who switches from Joseph O'Brien's stable following a successful £42,000 bid.

Elliott, teaming up with chief talent scout Aidan 'Mouse' O'Ryan, secured five-time winner Smoking Gun for £37,000.

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