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Tom Weekes

Tom Weekes

Elliott's yard sponsor on the mark at Downpatrick

Batts Rock (red cap, centre)Batts Rock (red cap, centre)
© Photo Healy Racing

Gordon Elliott is to lose the patronage of his principal owner Michael O'Leary in the coming years but did at least supply his official yard sponsors Valerie and Noel Moran with a winner at Downpatrick today as Batts Rock justified 2/5 favouritism to win the opening Molson Coors Maiden Hurdle under jockey Davy Russell.

The son of Fastnet Rock won the Ladies Derby at the Curragh last July and today got off the mark at the seventh attempt when proving six lengths too strong for runner-up Ificudiwould.

Elliott later said: "it's great for Valerie and Noel (Moran), they sponsor the yard and have a good few horses with us so its nice for them to get a nice winner."

He added “he deserves to win, he has been knocking on the door a while.

"His jumping can be a bit hot and cold but he is a horse we might mix and match with the flat. He stays well on the flat and he could be well enough handicapped on the flat.”

Quotes by Michael Graham