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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Death Duty in 'top form' as he heads Elliott's Drinmore challenge

Gordon Elliott pats Death Duty after his chase debut at Tipperary
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2.35 Fairyhouse
Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase (Grade 1) | 4yo and up | 2m4f | ATR

The exciting Death Duty, winner of both his starts over fences, heads Gordon Elliott’s team as the trainer bids to win this Grade 1 for the fourth time.

Jessies Dream (2010), Don Cossack (2013) and the ill-fated No More Heroes (2015) all landed the event for Elliott, who reports Death Duty, an 11-length winner of the Grade 3 Buck House Chase at Punchestown in October, in top form for Sunday's race.

He said: “He’s had a good preparation for the race and will like the ground and the trip.

"He’s probably the pick of our three runners, although Dinaria Des Obeaux, with her four-year-old and mares' allowances, is getting plenty of weight. She’s two from two over fences and is in very good form.

“Shattered Love has also taken well to fences, winning two of her starts and running another of ours, Jury Duty, close at Punchestown last time.”

Davy Russell, rider of Death Duty, is the only jockey involved in Sunday's renewal to have won the race. Successful on Cailin Alainn in 2006, he also landed the prize on Don Cossack four years ago.

Snow Falcon, the highest rated of the six runners over hurdles, represents Noel Meade, who last won the event with Pandorama in 2009.

Success for Snow Falcon would give his trainer a fifth win in the race and speaking on Saturday Meade said: “Snow Falcon ran well on his chasing debut when second in what looked a good beginners' race at Naas.

“He could have gone for another beginners' but you could run into a horse or two just as good as those he’ll be meeting here, so we decided to give him a chance of landing a big one. I think he could improve on his Naas run.”

Like Elliott, Willie Mullins, who runs Rathvinden and Townshend, will be bidding for a fourth win in the event. Rathvinden, the most experienced chaser in the line-up, has won four of his seven starts over fences.

Mullins said of the nine-year-old: "Rathvinden had a good summer and early autumn. He's in good form and has plenty of experience for a good novice race. The ground and the trip will be fine for him.

"Townshend has won three chases and is in good form, but he's probably going to be up against it in such a competitive-looking Grade 1."

Look back on a sizzling year of racing in the new edition of the Racing Post Annual, which has 208 colour pages packed with the best stories and pictures of 2017. Order now at or call 01933 304858

Death Duty is in very good form. He’s had a good preparation for the race and will like the ground and the trip
E.W. Terms
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