For the first time since early March, a Gordon Elliott runner entered a winner 's compound in Sligo on Wednesday as the coach Grand National winner recorded his first success after being banned from sport for six monthss when a photograph appeared showing him astride a dead horse in its gallops.
Elliott saddled two favorites on the Sligo card and while As The Sliding Rock (8-13) finished third of four earlier in the afternoon, tied Fancy Foundations was a comfortable four-length winner from Templehouse Lake Chase and returned to warm applause from the crowd.
Image of a smiling Elliott sitting on M Organ , a seven-year-old who died of an aneurysm in 2019, made headlines around the world when it was posted online in late February. He was banned by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's [Disciplinary] Reference Committee on March 5, and was also fined € 15,000 [£ 12,800] for an act the panel called '“Unforgivable… [but] nonetheless, an event that took place without deliberation. or foreseenance over a period of a few seconds.
Several prominent horses left Elliott's stable as a result of the affair, including Envoy Allen, one of the Ireland's best pursuing prospects, and Sir Gerhard, the Champion Bumper winner at the Cheltenham Festival a fortnight later.
He has also since separated with the main British owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, after a target BBC Panorama Investigation broadcast in July showed secretly filmed footage of one of their horses, Vyta Du Roc, being slaughtered at a UK slaughterhouse.
"It was nice to get this welcome from people here," Elliott said. “I've missed them for the past six months, as much as I have missed them. It 's great for my staff, they worked hard. Alicia, thegirl who led the horse, is going back to college next week to be a vet, and this was her first time leading a winner, so that's awesome.
Fancy Foundations could be among Elliott 's first runners in Britain after his ban as he is considered for a novice pursuit at the meeting Cheltenham Showcase on October 22 and 23.