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Noel Moran: rumours our horses have left Gordon Elliott are totally untrue

Noel and Valerie Moran: quashed the rumours that their horses had left Gordon Elliott
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Noel and Valerie Moran, who own leading JCB Triumph Hurdle fancy Zanahiyr and could have as many as nine runners at the Cheltenham Festival later this month, have told the Racing Post that their horses remain in the care of Gordon Elliott despite rumours suggesting otherwise over the last 24 hours.

The yard sponsor, eCOMM Merchant Solutions, announced on Tuesday that it had terminated its contract with the stable but rumours that the horses owned by the Morans have left the Elliott stable and are now in training with Noel Meade are false.

Noel Moran told the Racing Post on Wednesday morning: "The rumours that we have moved our horses from Gordon’s stable are totally untrue. I have no idea where they came from. As myself and Valerie said on Monday, we will await the decision of the IHRB hearing on Friday before making any further comment or decisions."

As well as Zanahiyr, who is unbeaten over hurdles, the Morans own Coral Cup favourite Grand Roi and Pertemps Final market leader The Bosses Oscar.

Zanahiyr: market principal for the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival

The Morans are founders of eCOMM, of which Noel is CEO, and the company ended its sponsorship on Tuesday night due to "recent events" in the fallout to the publication of a photograph showing the trainer sitting on a dead horse.

A statement on the yard sponsorship said: "eCOMM Merchant Solutions have terminated their sponsorship contract with Gordon Elliott due to recent events."

On Monday, they indicated they would await the outcome of the IHRB investigation before commenting on the situation in relation to the horses they have in training with Elliott, and that stance remains the same.


'Shocking' image forced Cheveley Park to remove their horses from Gordon Elliott


Betfair, for whom Elliott was a brand ambassador, made a similar withdrawal on Monday.

The sponsorship termination is a further blow for leading trainer Elliott, who saw his eight Cheveley Park horses, including unbeaten superstar Envoi Allen, leave the yard to join Henry de Bromhead and Willie Mullins.

He has also been suspended from having any runners in Britain by the BHA while an investigation by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board takes place, with a referrals committee hearing set to take place on Friday.


More on the Gordon Elliott story:

Gordon Elliott: 'I will spend my life paying for indefensible moment of madness'

Gordon Elliott barred from having runners in Britain while image inquiry goes on

Leading owners Gigginstown stand by Gordon Elliott after 'unacceptable' photo

Comment: the tragedy of these images is they have given cause to doubt racing's sincerity (Members' Club)

Comment: majority of horse people have been done a disservice by shocking images (Members' Club)


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As myself and Valerie said on Monday, we will await the decision of the IHRB hearing on Friday before making any further comment or decisions
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