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Monday, 19 November, 2018

Fayonagh storms home to bring up fantastic five for Elliott

Gordon Elliott: five winners in two days
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Day two ended as day one started with Gordon Elliott surrounded by well wishers after more success at a festival where he is proving the dominant force.

While he could not quite match his three-winner haul from day one, a Wednesday double left him in a commanding half-time lead over his peers as the meeting's leading trainer.

Scarily, for his rivals at least, he is fully loaded for day three and four as well, his relentless drive to the summit continuing with vigor.   

Good horses make good trainers goes the adage, and the latest star from the Elliott ranks looks very good indeed as Fayonagh gave her 21 rivals a long lead as she failed to react to a messy standing start in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper.

Yet, under amateur-extraordinaire Jamie Codd, she passed every last one those in front after Codd deployed the afterburners from the bottom of the hill.

“It was a bit surreal,” said the winning rider, enjoying a double on the day after the Elliott-trained Cause Of Causes took the cross-country. “She got a fright at the start and I thought it was chance gone but it’s pure ability.

"The way she started to go turning in I thought I might be fourth or fifth but when I got a belt into her, God she’s quickened – she’s exceptional.”

While Codd has Elliott to thank for the ride, it turned out that Elliott has the rider to thank for Fayonagh joining his awesome yard.

The trainer said: “Jamie actually bought her and then recommended that she came to me.

"I was a bit worried about the ground but she’s obviously a very good filly. She’s going to be better over jumps; she jumps very well and will run next year over hurdles.

"But the turn of foot she showed from the last furlong was unbelievable. You never know; we might be going to Royal Ascot even.”

With chances in the remaining Grade 1 races this week, Elliott has plenty to look forward to, yet it is not a Ryanair or Gold Cup winner he is most looking forward to.

“Getting a comfortable pair of shoes on me and going for a few pints” is instead top of his wishlist.  

Danny Mullins was clearly dejected having looked sure to win halfway up the straight on Debuchet, trained by his mother Margaret, only for the winner's late fly-by, but considering the last four-year-old to win the race was Cue Card in 2010, mum and son could have a good one of their own for the future.  

I was down by the rail and almost called on Jamie to pull her up
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