Sunday, 3 December 2017

Gordon Elliott expecting Festival flop Death Duty to prove class in Drinmore Novice Chase

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Gordon Elliott's hugely exciting novice Death Duty targets his first Grade One victory over hurdles in Fairyhouse's Drinmore Novices' Chase.

The six-year-old won four times as a hurdler last season but failed to fire when well-fancied in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham in March before a third place finish at Punchestown.

He is currently two from two over fences this season, following convincing wins at Tipperary before an impressive Grade Three win last month.

"Death Duty faces his first Grade 1 Chase," Elliott told his Betfair blog.

"He has taken to chasing very well which we always expected and he's going to improve with every run being the huge big horse he is. 

"This race looks ideal for him in every way so with a clear round I expect a big run. 

"The one to beat for him looks like Rathvinden a dual Grade 3 winner of Willie's but I hope everything goes his way and I am very much looking forward to him running."

The County Meath-based trainer also runs Dinaria Des Obeaux and Shattered Love.

"Shattered Love is a lovely big mare who we think a lot of," he added.

"Like Death Duty chasing was always going to be where we saw the best from her and she proved us right with her first two efforts over fences being comfortable victories. 

"Her last run was a narrowly beaten second behind stablemate Jury Duty in the Grade 2 Novice Chase at Punchestown last month so it's another step up in class for her today but I expect another good run.

"Dinaria Des Obeaux won a Mares Listed Chase very easily last month at Clonmel in testing conditions. 

"She came out of the race well and heads here in cracking form. Along with Shattered Love she benefits from the 7lb mares allowance which is a nice plus, as is Jack Kennedy in the saddle who gets the best out of her."

Willie Mullins' Rathvinden has taken to chasing very well for the master of Closutton. The nine-year-old, who once finished third in the Supreme, is four from seven as a chaser.

He won his last two outings both very easily and remains a key danger to Death Duty.

Snow Falcon takes his chance for Noel Meade.

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