Late in October of 2011, Gordon Elliot watched Chicago Grey finish third in the Charlie Hall Chase. Soon after, he announced that the grey gelding was a serious consideration for the Grand National. He praised the horse’s effort and said that he came out of it looking better than ever. And he did run in 2012, going off at 20/1, but was unfortunately brought down at the fifth under jockey Paul Carberry.
Gordon Elliot took over Chicago Grey’s training fairly early in 2009 and the gelding managed a win in his first outing for the trainer. It was also his first win ever, having previously managed only some seconds and thirds. The gelding got his second win for Elliot in November of the same year, then followed that up with a decent third in December before winning one last race in the same month to finish the year.
He began 2010 rather roughly in March with a lackluster performance in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham. His next two races resulted in a fifth and third place finish, but he won again at the end of July after a quick turnaround. He raced seven more times in 2010 with two more wins and some decent finishes, though he did fall in one race.
His schedule in 2011 was a little lighter, but only resulted in one win. He was then pointed at the 2012 National, and had run in two previous races in the same season, finishing 3rd in the John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran park on January 26th and followed by a 2nd place in the Red Mills Chase on February 18th 2012, also at Gowran Park.
Following the disappointment of being brought down in the 2012 National, Chicago Grey was raced five times in preparation for the 2013 Grand National. With several different jockeys he only just managed to re-capture his winning ways on time when he went to Navan in February 2013. It was enough to see the odds on him shorten dramatically!
He was schooled over the new fences at the Curragh and went off at 11/1 under Paul Carberry, carrying 10-07, but couldn’t see out the trip and was eventually pulled up so close to the end at the 30th fence.
He cold possibly make a return for the 2014 National but given that he will be 11 years old with two unsuccessful attempts behind him it may not be on the cards.
Photo Credit | Meteorshoweryn
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