09 Jan Death Duty remains unbeaten following Grade 1 Lawlor’s Hotel success in front of packed crowd at Naas
The Gordon Elliott-trained Death Duty extended his unbeaten novice hurdle run to four with a nine length success over Turcagua in the Grade 1 Lawlor’s Hotel Novice Hurdle at Naas today in the hands of Jack Kennedy.
The 17-year-old jockey, who was landing his second Grade 1 for Elliott in the colours of Gigginstown House Stud following the success of Outlander in the Lexus Chase over the Christmas period, had his task made a lot easier after Augusta Kate fell at the last hurdle when mounting a big challenge.
A delighted winning trainer, Gordon Elliott said: “I would say he [Death Duty] is an out-and-out stayer and they did not go fast enough for him. Augusta Kate was upsides when she fell so it is hard to know what would have happened.
“Jack [Kennedy] thought he had her covered and the one thing I do know is that he would have galloped all the way to the line. Our lad is a very good horse.”
Paddy Power shortened Death Duty to 9-4 favourite (from 5-2f) for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, and Elliott added: “If Cheltenham was tomorrow, I would say he would run in the Albert Bartlett. He will have a couple of easy weeks now and head straight to Cheltenham.”
“He’s a proper three-mile chaser. At this stage, of all the good horses I have had, none of them were as good as this fella over hurdles. That does not mean he will go on to do it as a chaser. I would say he is a fair one, though. ”
Half an hour prior to the success of Death Duty, the Henry de Bromhead-trained Some Plan advertised his Cheltenham festival claims with a five and a half-length success in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Novice Chase over Road To Respect.
Paddy Power left the nine-year-old unchanged at odds of 20-1 for the Racing Post Arkle Chase at Cheltenham, but winning rider David Mullins was impressed by the performance.
He said: “He’s still a big baby for an older horse and when he does start to learn, and put his best foot forward over fences, he’ll take a fair bit of beating over two miles. When he puts it all together he could be a Cheltenham horse.”
A growing crowd of 5,732 turned out at Naas today comparing to the 5,578 that watched Belshill win the feature race at the Kildare track 12 months ago for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh.
Racecourse Manager, Tom Ryan said: “I’m delighted for all of the people who came here today and for our sponsors as well. Everybody was treated to a feast of racing on the track and its smiles all round. We hope Death Duty can go on and run well at Cheltenham after his impressive win at Naas.”