Racing: Questions & Answers with Gordon Elliott

Top trainer put on the spot

Leader Reporter

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Racing: Questions & Answers with Gordon Elliott

Gordon Elliott

What was your childhood ambition?
I wanted to be a jockey but I wasn’t good enough and I was too fat.

Growing up, who was your sporting hero?
Mick Lyons and Austin McHale.

Do you have a mentor?
Martin Pipe.

What or where is your happy place?
In the pub with my friends.

What sparked your love of racing?
Going point to pointing with my uncle.

What horse put you on the map?
Silver Birch.

Who is your favourite horse?
Don Cossack.

What was it like to ride in your first race?
Very exciting but I was probably nervous at the same time.

How long does it take to learn race-riding tactics?
It’s like riding a bike – you can either do it or you cant.

Describe the feeling of riding/training your first winner?
There was nothing like training my first winner on the track. There’s so much
satisfaction from it when you’re with the horses every day.

What is your most memorable racing moment?
I have so many that it’s hard to say just one but the feeling of winning a Chelten-
ham Gold Cup is unbelievable.

What is your favourite racecourse in Ireland?
Navan.

If you weren’t a jockey/trainer what would you be?
I’d love to run a Formula 1 team. After watching a documentary there are so
many similarities with training horses - ‘So much goes wrong’!

If you could ride/train one horse, what would it be?
I’d like to train Honeysuckle – she’s a great mare.

How do you cope with pressure?
I try and stay as calm as I can. I think I take pressure pretty well.

What mental preparation do you do for the big days?
The routine is the same here every day.

How do you stay motivated?
I lie in bed every night thinking of where I’m going to get my next winner or what went wrong with my last runner.

How do you deal with dips in form?
Martin Pipe always told me that if the horses start running bad don’t change what you were doing when they were winning.

Outside of racing, what is your favourite sporting moment?
Anytime Meath or Summerhill win a football match.

Can you give us a Netflix/film recommendation?
I’m watching Ozark at the moment which is very good but anyone who enjoys sport should watch Formula 1 Drive To Survive.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Home and Away.

Desert island discs – name your favourite three songs?
Eye Of The Tiger; Put Them Under Pressure; Grace.

What person do you admire the most and why?
My uncle Willie, sadly he has passed away but he was a great leader and helped everyone that he could.

Favourite dinner?
Steak.
Where is your favourite place to go on holidays?
Portugal – Dunas Douradas.

What ambitions do you still have?
To be champion trainer and to do the best for every one of my horses and owners.

What is the hidden gem of your home county?
Summerhill – its where I was born and bred and I will never forget where I am
from.

When you think of your home what immediately springs to mind?
Family, Summerhill and Cullentra House Stables.
How are you occupying your time during the Covid-19 restrictions?
I’m probably being a pain to everyone in the yard as I’m trying to get the place
cleaned-up but you have to keep positive.
If you had one piece of advice for everyone during these worrying times of Covid-19, what would it be?
Stay safe, keep your distance and keep positive.

If you were to go back to when you were 20 years old and give yourself one
piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t have a girlfriend whilst you’re so young.

Favourite saying/quote?
Don’t complicate things – keep it simple!