Denise Foster to take over licence from Gordon Elliott

Denise Foster is set to take over the reins at Gordon Elliott’s yard following the Grand National-winning trainer’s suspension.

Elliott was on Friday banned for 12 months, with the last six months suspended, following an Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board referrals hearing into the image posted on social media last weekend of the trainer sitting on a dead horse.

Foster, who has sent out 10 winners over the past five seasons, on the Flat and over jumps combined, will take over the licence at Cullentra House in the coming days.

An initial statement confirming the plans on Elliott’s official Twitter account was posted on Saturday afternoon, before being deleted and reposted to read: “Gordon Elliott Racing is pleased to confirm that Denise Foster will take over the licence at Cullentra Stables during the period of Gordon Elliott’s suspension.

“Denise is vastly experienced and her appointment is great news for staff and owners.”

Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board headquarters at the Curragh
Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board headquarters at the Curragh (Brian Lawless/PA)

Like Elliott based in County Meath, Foster enjoyed Listed success with Lily’s Rainbow in the 2016 Heritage Stakes at Navan and counts JP McManus as one of her owners.

Having already imposed an interim suspension on Elliott-trained runners in Britain until the conclusion of the IHRB’s investigation, the British Horseracing Authority immediately confirmed it would reciprocate the ban.

However, the BHA added that Elliott’s horses would be allowed to run at Cheltenham and Aintree if “transferred directly to other licenced trainers prior to March 9.”

Envoi Allen has left Gordon Elliott
Envoi Allen has left Gordon Elliott (PA)

A spokesperson for the IHRB said on Saturday: “Anyone that would want to take over the care of horses on a different premises would need to be a licensed trainer.

“If a licensed trainer wanted to move from their own premises to a different premises, they would need to go to the licensing committee.

“That would not generally be a lengthy process.”

On Tuesday, leading owners Cheveley Park Stud moved their horses from Elliott to Willie Mullins and Henry de Bromhead. Among those was the unbeaten Envoi Allen, who has joined De Bromhead.

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2 replies
  1. Chris Rostron
    Chris Rostron says:

    I read Matt,s brilliant article on rule 4 being misused and i wonder if he could cast his eyes on my recent win experience with a5 horse accumulator with Betfair where the winnings were reduced by 40percent being 600 pounds.Happy to send the info if its possible Thanks Chris

    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi Chris

      You’d need to take this up with IBAS, who are expressly set up to manage such disputes.

      Their website is here, and includes full details on how to make a claim:

      Good luck,


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