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Gordon Elliot anticipating a similar route back to Cheltenham for Gold Cup runner-up Gerri Colombe

Gordon Elliott is already plotting how Gerri Colombe can bridge the gap with Galopin Des Champs in next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The eight-year-old made Willie Mullins’ dual blue riband hero pull out all the stops at this season’s Festival, and Elliott feels there is still more to come from his charge.

He told Racing TV’s Luck On Sunday: “I’d say Gerri Colombe was definitely a career best. We were delighted with Gerri and the winner is very, very special.

“The loose horse has done us absolutely no favours – we’d have never won on the day, but we might have been a little bit closer.

“I think with another summer out at grass, he’s going to be even better. He probably jumped his best throughout the race on Friday but I still think he needs to learn to come down and get from A to B a little bit quicker.

“If you look at Galopin Des Champs, he’s a lot quicker through the air than we are, but that’s getting better all the time.

“Whether we run him again this year or not, I’m not sure. If I do, it’ll likely be Punchestown, Aintree will probably come a bit soon. But if not, it’ll be all systems go again for the Gold Cup next year.”

Elliott enjoyed Grade One glory with Teahupoo in the Stayers’ Hurdle and he is set to target a repeat success in that contest next term.

The seven-year-old had just one previous outing this season, when winning the Hatton’s Grace at Fairyhouse, and another light schedule is on the cards.

“He suits the race,” said the Cullentra House handler. “He’s a laid-back type of horse, he doesn’t take too much energy out of himself.

“So, we’ll probably look at going back to Punchestown, all being well, and then maybe going the same path again next year, with just two or three runs in the season again.

“He’s probably not the biggest or most robust horse in the world, so maybe he doesn’t need a whole lot of racing, but he’s very honest and we’re very lucky to have him.

“His form suggests he runs best with a nice break between runs, so we’ll keep doing what we’ve been doing – he’s done us proud so far.”

Irish Point was rerouted from the Stayers’ Hurdle to the Champion Hurdle following the defection of Constitution Hill and performed admirably when chasing home State Man.

He is now in line for a step back up in trip to two and a half miles for the William Hill Aintree Hurdle, where he could clash with the Henry de Bromhead-trained Bob Olinger, who carries the same Robcour colours.

Elliott said: “Irish Point is probably more of a stayer than a two-miler but just the way the race was working out, we had to roll the dice.

“I’d love to go to Aintree. They are in different camps – Henry can worry about his horse and I will worry about mine.”

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