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Death Duty regains footing for debut win at Tipperary

Gordon Elliot’s six-year-old stumbles on last hurdle, but recovers quickly to finish first

Death Duty (right) winning the novice hurdle at Naas earlier this year. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Death Duty made a winning debut over fences at Tipperary – but it was not without incident.

It was not a blemish-free round by Gordon Elliott’s highly regarded six-year-old as he jumped a little ponderously early on and made one significant error in the Tipperary Races Beginners Chase.

However, once Davy Russell decided to send him into a clear lead there was a notable improvement in his jumping.

Cap D’Aubois, a useful hurdler in his own right, tracked him throughout, with Inis Meain the only other serious competitor.

Huge engine

But Death Duty demonstrated on more than one occasion last year that he possesses a huge engine, and after a slow leap at the last he needed to show it again.

Ruby Walsh spotted that Elliott’s Grade One-winning hurdler had slowed up going into the last, and whereas Cap D’Aubois flew over it, Death Duty landed on all fours.

Russell briefly had to shake up the 1-5 favourite, but he quickened up efficiently and won cosily by three-quarters of a length.