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Dublin: 12 °C Saturday 16 February, 2019
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Dounikos and Gordon Elliott land Grand National Trial at Punchestown

Elliott watched two of his runners occupy the top three spots.

With the absence of British racing this weekend, all eyes were on Punchestown today.
With the absence of British racing this weekend, all eyes were on Punchestown today.
Image: Niall Carson

RACING ACROSS THE water may be on a brief enforced hiatus, but the action at Punchestown was unrelenting today as Dounikos clinched the Grand National Trial for trainer Gordon Elliott.

It’s a rare thing for a trainer to win the race in consecutive years – 10 different trainers had won the race for the previous ten years, but Elliott was a dominant force in this year’s renewal as he saddled the first and third home having won the race with Folsom Blue last year.

Second season chaser Dounikos drew clear to win in the end.

He took it up jumping the last for Davy Russell and with all the momentum on his side he quickly forged clear to beat 20-1 shot Wishmore and stable companion General Principle by four-and-a-quarter lengths.

Elsewhere today, Riders Onthe Storm claimed the Richard Maher Memorial Rated Novice Chase under Bryan Cooper.

The 2-1 shot held off favourite Impact Factor by a length-and-a-quarter to win for trainer Tom Taaffe.

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