Gordon Elliott on Grand National triumph: “If you don’t want to train winners you shouldn’t be doing it”

The Irish trainer is closing in on his first Irish trainers’ championship

BY Enda Coll 20:51 Monday 16 April 2018, 20:51 16 Apr 2018

Owner Anita O'Leary and trainer Gordon Elliott with Tiger Roll. Image: ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

Gordon Elliott believes the pressure of wanting to train winning horses was crucial to his Grand National triumph.

The Irish trainer watched jockey Davy Russell steer Tiger Roll to victory at Aintree as he took a step closer to winning his first Irish trainers’ championship.

Speaking to Kevin Kilbane on Monday night’s Off The Ball, Elliott told the show how he approaches the bigger meetings on the racing calendar.

“To be honest, if we’re going to Tramore, Aintree or Cheltenham – the horses get all the same preparation,” Elliott told OTB.

“But you do put yourself under more pressure for the bigger meetings, probably more so for Cheltenham than Aintree – Aintree is a little bit more relaxed.

“Because if a horse falls at the Grand National it’s nearly expected. But when you go to Cheltenham you’re revved up and you have to have winners.

“I do put pressure on myself because if you don’t want to train winners you shouldn’t be doing it.”

Despite seeing his horse triumph at the world’s most famous steeplechase, Elliott admitted he was pessimistic about Tiger Roll’s chances.

“The ground was soft-to-heavy, so I thought the ground might be too soft for him,” Elliott said.

“I knew the horse was in very good form but I was very nervous about the ground. But the horse was brilliant and Davy Russell was absolutely marvellous on him.

“He gave him a copybook ride and the rest is history as they say.”

Video footage shared on social media showed the winning jockey and trainer reeling off a rendition of Eye of the Tiger as a way of celebrating their Grand National success.

But Elliott laughed off suggestions by Kevin Kilbane that he had a beautiful voice.

“No, I’m not a great singer at all,” Eliott said.

“Davy Russell caught me off guard with his mobile phone – so he’s to blame for that – he said he was making a video for his kids.

“I didn’t know it was going to go that way to be honest.”

Written by James Hopper


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