'We haven't spoken for two weeks' – Gordon Elliott without his two best jockeys just 15 days before Cheltenham Festival | The Sun
27th February 2023

GORDON ELLIOTT has been stranded without his two best jockeys just 15 days before Cheltenham Festival starts.

The three-time Grand National winner is still without No1 rider Jack Kennedy – who is just '50-50' to make it to Prestbury Park.

While Elliott said he and trusted ally Davy Russell 'have not spoken for a couple of weeks'.

Russell performed a sensational retirement U-turn to come back and ride for his old boss after Kennedy broke his leg for a fifth time.

But the iconic rider has got back into the saddle only twice since suffering a heavy fall at Leopardstown earlier this month.

The likes of Jordan Gainford, Denis O'Regan, Sam Ewing and Jamie Codd have kept the Cullentra juggernaut rolling.

But the lack of clarity over Kennedy and any lasting impact Russell's most recent fall might have had has come at the wrong time for Elliott.

Although, speaking today, the trainer did suggest Russell will be perfectly fine to race at Cheltenham, which begins on March 14.

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Elliott said: "I was with Jack on Saturday night. He went back into hospital and got good news off Paddy Kenny (doctor).

"He’s in Santry (sports clinic) all this week and is back to Paddy Kenny on Friday. He’ll know on Friday whether it’s yes or no.

"He’s making good progress, but he’s still 50-50.

"He’d have to be back riding out next week and have a week riding out and have a couple of rides the weekend before and then on to Cheltenham.

"I’m 100 per cent behind him. If he’s back he rides everything as he’s first jockey and if he’s not, we’ll have Davy and Jordan (Gainford) and Sam (Ewing).

"I haven’t spoken to Davy for the last two weeks. If Jack’s not back, the wealth of experience Davy has is unbelievable – he’s worth his weight in gold around there (Cheltenham)."


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