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Elliott lands massive gamble in Troytown

Gordon Eliott's Balbriggan made the short journey to Navan yesterday to land a monumental gamble in the prestigious Ladbrokes Troytown Chase yesterday afternoon.

Available at 20/1 for the race on Saturday evening, the grey was still 11/1 just minutes before the off when his priced plummeted into 4/1.

Running in the colours of renowned soccer agents Willie McKay and Lee Power, Elliott admitted: "He's owned by a couple of plucky lads and I'd say they'd didn't miss him!

"They gave more then we probably thought he was worth at the sales but he has paid it all back now and if he never wins another race again he has done his job."

Balbriggan's last run saw him win a modest contest around Sedgefield and he only just got into the race at the bottom of the handicap.

"He had a great run at Cheltenham behind Neil Mulholland's horse (The Young Master) and he just seemed to come in to this under the radar."


It was another good day for the Elliott team who won the Grade Two Monksfield Novice Hurdle with the exciting JP McManus-owned Free Expression, who remains unbeaten.

"He's a nice big horse, he was very green but a nice horse for the future," Elliott said. "He'll have another run now and we'll look at the Slaney Hurdle at Naas maybe - Leopardstown wouldn't be the be all and end all at the moment - and we'll take it one day at a time and see how we go there.

"It was a messy race and they weren't going fast enough but he showed he had a lot left in the locker and you would be hoping after that he has better days in him. In fairness to him, he stayed galloping and after the last Mark (Walsh) said he wasn't doing a stroke.

"He'll learn a lot from today and putting his head down. We think he is a nice horse and he's the type of horse you want to have in your yard."