Ginto is latest star to emerge from the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle
The Grade 1 Lawlor's Of Naas Novice Hurdle would appear to have unearthed another future star of National Hunt racing as Ginto joined Bob Olinger and Envoi Allen on the illustrious roll of honour.
The six-year-old son of Walk In The Park made almost all of the running in the two and a half mile opening Grade 1 race of 2022 and unsurprisingly the Cheltenham Festival now beckons for Ginto who had four and a half lengths to spare over the strong travelling Grand Jury with Ginto's stable companion Hollow Games back in third.
For Elliott it was a fourth success in the Lawlor's Of Naas Novice Hurdle since the race was upgraded to Grade 1 status and it was also a fourth Grade 1 winner for him over this current Christmas period.
"This is a race we always like to target and it's great to win it again with a horse that looks to have a bright future," Elliott said afterwards.
"We were hoping there would be more pace in the race but Jack used his head and let Ginto go on and in all his races we've seen him at his best in the last furlong and a half and that was the same there today.
"He was bought to be a chaser but we are delighted to get that today and we'll see what the ground is like at Leopardstown for the Dublin Racing Festival or otherwise he might go straight to Cheltenham."
Elliott added: "He'll be better again when he gets a good gallop but all he does is stay and I'm delighted for Noel and Valerie (Moran) who are big supporters of Cullentra and of Irish racing and they'll get a good kick out of this."
It was a milestone day for the Moran's of Bective Stud as it was a first ever Grade 1 triumph for the prominent owners.
Champion trainer Willie Mullins enjoyed a double on the card with Blue Lord stamping his authority on the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Chase by 20-lengths.
The 1/4 favourite hardly turned a hair to justify his short odds and looks an exciting novice for the season ahead with Mullins also suggesting he could go straight to the Cheltenham Festival now.
"He has had two runs now so he could go straight to Cheltenham as we might try and keep him and Ferny Hollow apart," Mullins said afterwards.
"He looks an Arkle horse and I'd say he is a horse that is improving all the time."
Blue Lord was instigating a double for Mullins, Paul Townend and owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede as Bronn landed the INH Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle for those connections later on the card.
Another trainer to enjoy a fine Christmas period was Gavin Cromwell and his festive period ended in style with a classy performance from Jeremys Flame in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Beginners Chase while the father and son team of Philip and Luke Dempsey combined with owner JP McManus to claim the Eastcoast Seafood and Gouldings Hardware Handicap Chase with the well supported 6/4 favourite Fighting Fit.