sport

Perth century for Elliott

Gordon Elliott reached a significant milestone as the Tony McCoy-ridden Snoqualmie Chief gave the trainer his 100th winner at Perth.

Elliott has only held a training licence in 2006 and did not even train a winner in his native Ireland until after he had saddled Silver Birch to win the 2007 Grand National.

Despite being based in County Meath, Elliott has regularly made frequent trips across the Irish Sea to one of Scotland's leading jumps tracks , enjoying an incredible level of success.

Snoqualmie Chief was a 3-1 shot for the Stewart Milne Hunters Meadow Novices' Handicap Hurdle and eased clear in the hands of the perennial champion jockey to seal a five-length victory over Discoverie.

It did not take long for Elliott to add to his century as 4-5 favourite Vasco Du Mee gave McCoy an armchair ride in the Crabbie's Alcoholic Ginger Beer Handicap Hurdle.

Elliott did not have it all his own way on a thundery afternoon in Scotland, however.

Odds-on favourite Ningo Express was collared right on the line by fellow Irish raider Royale Django in the Land Rover Discovery Maiden Hurdle.

Stuart Crawford's unraced five-year-old was a 13-2 shot for his debut and finished with a rattle under Richard Johnson to take the prize by a head.

It was a third winner in two days for the Crawford-Johnson combination following a double at Hexham on Saturday.

"I'm delighted as he's been a very backward horse," said the trainer.

"We thought about putting him away, but decided to give him a run to hopefully stand to him when next season comes around.

"I'm not surprised he's run well, but I'm a little bit surprised he was fit enough to win.

"I haven't spoken to his owner yet, but I would imagine he'll be put away now and he could run in a couple of novice hurdles next season.

"Hopefully he'll develop into a nice staying chaser."

Elliott suffered another reverse in the Fugro Subsea Services Novices' Chase as 6-4 favourite Midnight Game had to make do with the runner-up spot behind Falcarragh (5-1), completing a double on the afternoon for Johnson.

Two Elliott runners in the feature Perth Gold Cup failed to make an impact behind 4-1 winner Guess Again, trained by David Pipe and ridden by Tom Scudamore.

There was a dramatic climax to the Jaguar F-Type Handicap Chase, with Crawford's Call Box touched off by Fergal O'Brien's Creevytennant.

The 9-1 winner appeared distracted by thunder and lightning on the run-in and conditional jockey Conor Shoemark lost an iron, but he managed to keep his mount going to score by a length.

Elliott's 7-4 favourite Killeenmore pulled up lame, while the stable's 4-6 favourite Bell Walks Day could finish only second in the bumper behind Peter Bowen-trained 2-1 shot Ghost River.