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Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Elliott's numbers game paying dividends as he chases trainers' title

Gordon Elliott: sent out a staggering 1,099 runners in 2016, 542 more than Willie Mullins
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Gordon Elliott sent out a staggering total of 1,099 runners during 2016, 542 more than Willie Mullins and 431 more than champion Flat trainer Aidan O'Brien.

The final quarter of the year was another extremely busy one for Elliott as he had 394 runners between October, November and December. The highlight of that spell were the Grade 1 victories of Apple's Jade (Hatton's Grace Hurdle) and Outlander (Lexus Chase) as the numbers game continued to pay dividends for the man setting the pace at the top of the Irish trainers' championship.

Gordon Elliott's statistical summary

"We've managed to be consistent throughout the year, which is very important, and I have a great team here. Without the help of everyone, and such hard-working staff, there is no way we would be able to sail such a big ship," Elliott said. 

Champion Flat jockey Pat Smullen was the busiest rider in 2016 with 672 rides, 82 more than Colin Keane, who chased him in the race for the Flat jockeys' title in 2016.

It may come as a surprise to some to learn Sean Flanagan was the most wanted jump jockey in Ireland for the final quarter of last year.

Sean Flanagan: favourite film is Titanic
The Wexford native, who took over from Paul Carberry as Noel Meade's stable jockey, had 160 rides in those three months, seven more than Ruby Walsh and Danny Mullins, who were both in action 153 times.

The average prize-money per race in the final quarter of 2016 fell by €618.08 compared to the same period in 2015, but the average field size increased to 12.05 from 10.8.

Dundalk, Ireland's only all-weather venue, is obviously serving its purpose as the average field size for Flat races in the final quarter rose quite significantly to 13.25 from 11.4 in 2015.

Without the help of everyone, and such hard-working staff, there is no way we would be able to sail such a big ship
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