The big race of the year at Naas Racecourse went the way of trainer Gordon Elliott and the Gigginstown House Stud as Death Duty eased home to a nine-length victory over Turcagua in the Grade 1 Lawlor's Hotel Novice Hurdle.
Jack Kennedy was on board the highly rated five-year-old, and he held him back well until making his move between the last two hurdles and taking the lead before staying on well to seal a rather comfortable win.
Elliott plans to rest the first-time Grade 1 winner until the Cheltenham Festival in March, and he has him pencilled in for the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle in three months time. He was pleased with his horse's performance, and admitted that the pace of the race surprised him.
"To be honest, I thought they didn't go fast enough. I thought Blood Crazed Tiger would make them go a good gallop. Our lad is just an out-and-out stayer.
"They were upsides when the mare fell, so it's hard to say but the one thing you know about our horse is that he would have kept pulling out. Jack thought he had it covered.
"You never know when Ruby is upsides you, but our lad is a very good horse.
"He has his job done again and that will be it now until Cheltenham."
Some Plan took the EBF Novice Chase for trainer Henry De Bromhead, while the other big race of the day saw Michael McDonagh-trained Black Zero land finish as a two-length winner in the Eastcoast Seafood & Gouldings Chase.
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