Memorable day for Elliott as Death Duty delivers full house at Fairyhouse


Death Duty crowned another huge day for Gordon Elliott and Gigginstown House Stud when providing them with a clean sweep of the three Grade 1 events at Fairyhouse on Sunday.

The six-year-old's three-and-a-quarter-length win under Davy Russell in the Drinmore Novice Chase followed the Grade 1 wins of Mengli Khan and Apple's Jade earlier on the card.

Death Duty, who was sent off the 8-11 favourite and made all the running, was making it three from three over fences. He jumped to the left at times but Elliott, who had won the event with Jessies Dream, Don Cossack and No More Heroes, was not concerned.

"I thought he jumped very well just as he did at Punchestown last time having been a bit erratic on his run over fences at Tipperary," said the trainer.

Betfair Sportsbook cut Death Duty into 6-1 joint-favourite (from 8) for the JLT with Finian's Oscar. He is 10-1 (from 12) for the RSA with the same firm. BoyleSports go 8-1 (from 10) for the JLT and the same price (from 12) for the RSA.

Elliott indicated that should the six-year-old head to the festival the JLT would be the more likely target, although time will tell whether he will be on the trainer's Cheltenham team after he disappointed when favourite for the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle, in which he was well beaten when blundering his way out of the race at the final hurdle.

He said: "We'll have to wait and see. He didn't take the trip to Cheltenham well last year and ran up very light and in hindsight it might have been better not to run him. So it's by no means certain that he will go back there in March.

"If he does go it would probably be for the JLT and it's possible we won't run him over three miles this season. He's a good horse – we've always thought that – and while we thought at one stage that longer trips might suit, he's shown that he's more than an out-and-out stayer and that two and a half miles suits him well.

"Davy [Russell] came in and said that he has plenty of speed. Where he'll run next, I don't know."

Russell was achieving his third win in the race which he landed on Cailin Alainn in 2006 and Don Cossack in 2013.

Rathvinden, a four-time chase winner, finished second, with Snow Falcon, who was running over fences for only the second time, two and three-quarter lengths adrift in third in the five-runner event.