Death Duty ruled out for season after damaging ligaments at Leopardstown
Gordon Elliott and Gigginstown House Stud suffered a significant blow as exciting novice chaser Death Duty was ruled out for the rest of the season due to injury.
Winner of the Grade 1 Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse in December, Death Duty was a general 8-1 shot for the JLT Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham before the news broke on Monday. He was also prominent in the RSA Chase market at around 10-1.
Death Duty fell at the last when well held behind Footpad in the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown on St Stephen's Day, but Gigginstown spokesman Eddie O'Leary revealed he had suffered an injury early in the race.
O'Leary said: “He’s done ligaments, and he suffered the injury early on in the race at Leopardstown, which is why he never travelled.
“He’s had a small operation but hopefully he’ll make a full recovery and we’ll have him back next season.”
Elliott said: “Death Duty is still sore after Leopardstown and he’ll miss the rest of the season, unfortunately."
It was an otherwise prosperous festive period for Elliott and Gigginstown who teamed up to win Grade 1s with Apple's Jade and Shattered Love.
O'Leary revealed that Shattered Love, an impressive winner of the 3m Neville Hotels Novice Chase, is on course for the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown next month.
He said: “She’ll get an entry in the Grade 1 Flogas Novice Chase, but that’s over just two miles five and she does stay very well.
"She’s won a Grade 1 and she’ll probably have to continue down this route. Long term we’re aiming her at the RSA Chase."
The Noel Meade-trained Road To Respect led home a 1-2-3 for Gigginstown in the Leopardstown Christmas Chase and is now a best price of 11-1 to provide the owners with a third Cheltenham Gold Cup success.
O’Leary added: “Road To Respect is likely to head straight to Cheltenham, all being well. Valseur Lido [who finished fifth] ran a good race behind him and he’ll be aimed at the Irish Gold Cup, and then we can start thinking about Cheltenham.”
Elliott has entered cosy Leopardstown maiden hurdle winner Flawless Escape in the Grade 2 Ballymore Leamington Novices' Hurdle at Warwick on Saturday. A decision on his participation will be made later in the week.
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