Former jockey, Bryan Cooper says that Meath trainer Gordon Elliott is having one of his best ever starts to a jumps season, culminating in a brilliant win at Fairyhouse on Sunday with a win for Teahupoo in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle, beating hot favourite Impaire Et Passe.
And speaking to Boylesports Cooper conceded he had his doubts about the Summerhill man’s ability to deliver this season.

‘I was probably one to have question marks over his yard this season as to whether he had the firepower there to compete but they have spent money restocked on horses and the evidence is paying off all guns blazing.

‘I really liked the look of Firefox winning his bumper at Down Royal and Gerri Colombe at Down Royal in the Champion Chase.

”There was no way he should have won that race, but he won it, and good horses win races. Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. I think the King George for him next would be a bit of a weird decision, it is a sharp track and you need a horse that travels.

‘You need a Kauto Star type horse, strong travellers, for me I don’t think it is the race for him. For me, Leopardstown would be a better one, it is a stiff three miles and it’s a long run in, if I was riding him then I’d have him at Leopardstown. I think things might happen a bit too quick for him in a King George.

‘Croke Park, he won the novice hurdle at Navan and he looks a future star. He was a bit laboured but hit the line well, ears pricked, the horse that was second in that race has since been second again so the form is tying in a bit. He looks a great Albert Bartlett prospect and a Gold Cup horse down the line.

‘This is a very exciting time of year, it is where the novices all come out. I used to love it, maybe you’re riding new horses at home and they are giving you a real feel you’re hoping they do it on a race track

‘That’s when your dream is alive. You already have your championship horses to look forward to. One of the best horses I ever rode, Our Connor, was an absolutely shocking work horse, the worst of all time.

‘It’s weird, some of the flashy horses at home aren’t impressive on the track. For me as a rider, I didn’t like the flashy ones, I preferred the ones that were behind the bridle and you could see what they had in the locker when they got to the track