Gordon Elliott confirms death of Cheltenham Festival winner who was later seized by CAB

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Gordon Elliott has confirmed the death of Cheltenham Festival winner Labaik.

The grey provided a shock win in the 2017 Supreme Novices Hurdle, the opening race at the meeting, under a then-17-year-old Jack Kennedy.

At odds of 25/1 he provided the Kerry jockey with his first ever win at the festival.

Labaik was subsequently seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) after they began to investigate John Boylan, who owned 90% of the horse, under proceeds of crime legislation.

The High Court then ruled in October 2019 that Boylan paid for his share in the horse with the proceeds of crime.

Labaik hadn’t been seen on a racecourse since finishing fourth in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle in April 2017 and Elliott has revealed that the horse died “two or three months ago”.

He said: “Labaik died of a colic two or three months ago here in the yard.

Gordon Elliott celebrates Labaik winning at the Cheltenham Festival

“It has been reported (on social media) he sustained a cut to a leg and was put down, which wasn’t true. He wasn’t being ridden out and had been retired.

“He won a Supreme Novice Hurdle for us, was very talented and a very good horse.”

The quirky nine-year-old had refused to race on three occasions for Elliott before winning at the Cheltenham Festival.

CAB seized the horse’s passport shortly after his Prestbury Park success to stop him being sold at the Aintree Sales weeks later.

Elliott and bloodstock agent Aidan O’Ryan, who owned 5% of the horse each, were both cleared of any wrong-doing and have no involvement in crime.

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