In fact, his only Champion Trainer title came in the National Hunt sphere when he produced Rhyme ‘N’ Reason to win the Grand National in the 1987/88 season. Elsworth isn’t a stranger to success on the flat either and has yet another talented recruit in his Hong Kong Sprint candidate, Sir Dancealot
Consistency is the leading attribute of this four-year-old gelding by Sir Prancealot and he’s recorded multiple G2 wins this season. A winner of the G3 Criterion Stakes at Newmarket in June, Sir Dancealot has progressed to win two G2 prizes in July and August, both over 1400m. His win at Glorious Goodwood in the Lennox Stakes saw him beat Suedois by a short head with other highly rated horses in behind. He was last seen finishing a solid fifth in the G1 British Champion Sprint Stakes at Ascot in October and one that performance booked his ticket to Hong Kong.
David Elsworth has previously travelled to the Hong Kong International Races, having saddled Landyap to finish fourth in the Hong Kong Cup in 1990. Despite his vast experience, Elsworth had a dilemma – should he send Sir Prancealot to the Sprint or the Mile – the problem being that his ideal trip is 1400m. Regular jockey Gerald Mosse – who was successful in Hong Kong for many years – was asked for his opinion and Elsworth said: “My first thought was to stretch him out for the Mile, but I discussed things with his jockey Gerald Mosse. Gerald has a lot of Hong Kong experience and after discussing things we decided the Mile looked tough and that Sir Dancealot would be better suited by six furlongs (1200m) good ground and a strong pace - so the Sprint is the way we went."
There is no doubt that the task ahead for Sir Dancealot is a big one but Elsworth is rightfully proud of his stable flag bearer, saying: “It's a high class race, of course it is, but Sir Dancealot has done nothing wrong all year - he's the only one coming out from Europe for the Sprint, so we'll give it a go”.
With the ground undoubtedly going to come up quick, it’s reassuring to note that Sir Dancealot’s worst form has come on heavy ground, with the horse clearly preferring a sounder surface. He’ll have to be at his best to threaten the favourites in the Sprint. but consistency is an attribute which should be highly valued at the end of a long season.