Gordon Elliott Racing has announced that Denise Foster will take over as the licensed trainer at Cullentra Stables for the period of Elliott's suspension.
Elliott was yesterday handed a one-year suspension by the IHRB over the controversial photo which emerged of the trainer sitting on a dead horse. The last six months of the suspension was suspended, meaning he will not be able to train horses again until September.
In the mean-time, Foster will take over the reins at his huge operation. In their statement confirming the news, Gordon Elliott Racing said that Elliott would be on hand to assist Foster if needed.
"Gordon Elliott Racing is pleased to confirm the Racing Post story 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.
Gordon Elliott Racing is pleased to confirm the Racing Post story 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— Gordon Elliott (@gelliott_racing) March 6, 2021
An earlier statement which contained the line "Gordon will be available to assist her as she requires" was deleted.
From Enfield, Foster is a noted trainer herself, her most recent winner being Swiss Swoo at Dundalk last month. She has also had winners in Navan and at the Fairyhouse Winter Festival.
A former riding instructor, she was married to Irish Olympian eventer David Foster, who competed at the 1984, 1988 and 1996 Olympics before suffering a fatal accident in competition in 1998.
Foster, who is known in racing circles as 'Sneezy', said in a statement on Elliott's Twitter account: "I am honoured to take over from Gordon and realise he is a hard act to follow. I am delighted by the contacts I have had with the owners and staff to date. This is a great responsibility but I could not ask for a better set-up. I will take charge from Monday."
Significantly, the move will allow the horses at Cullentra to race at the Cheltenham Festival.
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."
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.