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Tom Weekes

Tom Weekes

Elliott wins with 'very nice' French import

Sat 20th Nov 2021, 14:59

Saint Felicien and Davy Russell
© Photo Healy Racing

French-import Saint Felicien (11/8f) was the impressive winner of Gowran's Proficient Engineering Ltd Novice Hurdle today, securing doubles for owners Robcour, trainer Gordon Elliott and jockey Davy Russell.

By Djakadam's sire Saint Des Saints, Saint Felicien was a debut hurdles winner at Auteuil last March and while untidy jumping the final flight today, had plenty in reserve and won eased down from Slip Of The Tongue.

Saint Felicien's unfortunately timed French win means he loses his novice status in December and following today's race Elliott reported “he's a good horse and there is an awful lot of improvement in him. I think he is a fair horse.

“We'll try and split them up, we've a few horses for the same sort of thing, and I'll talk to the owner and see what he wants to do. He's a very nice horse.”

Robcour were earlier successful with high-class Bob Olinger in the opening chase while Elliott and Russell teamed up to win the half-hour earlier hurdle with Indigo Breeze.

Russell, indeed, currently has a career-best 28% strike-rate with his 64 rides since returning from an 11-month injury layoff in September. Now riding predominately for trainer Elliott, the three-time Champion Jockey's previous best rate was 20% for seasons 2011/12 and 2017/18.

Quotes from Gary Carson

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