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Gordon Elliott is unlucky in Punchestown |  Race News

Gordon Elliott was unlucky at Punchestown with his first runner since returning from suspension.

The main Irish trainer has been suspended for 12 months, with half of that sentence suspended, after an image of him sitting on a dead horse was widely shared on social media in March.

Elliott was also ordered to pay costs of € 15,000 – the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board saying the sanction reflected “the seriousness of the infringement and the damage done to the Irish racing industry” after the image caused a general outcry.

After serving a six-month ban, during which Denise Foster took temporary control of the Cullentra stables, Elliott was free to resume making entries from last Thursday – initially five for the Punchestown game on the flat.

But he only said two runners – and with third reserve Alice Kitty failing to qualify in race six, his only representative on Tuesday’s card was recent winner Oh Purple Reign in the Donate To cycle. The Coast To The Curragh in honor of Pat Smullen Handicap.

Ridden by Declan McDonogh, the four-year-old was the second favorite 9-2 to follow his victory at Gowran Park 13 days earlier, but struggled backwards to get home and ultimately only beaten two rivals in 12th place behind 14-1 winner Khafaaq.

Elliott, who was in attendance at Punchestown, is expected to saddle four runners on Wednesday’s national chase card in Sligo.

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