04 December 2017

Fairyhouse staged a terrific card on Sunday, which saw County Meath trainer Gordon Elliott and owners Gigginstown House Stud take all three Grade 1’s staged. First to score was the team’s exciting four-year-old hurdler MENGLI KHAN (IRE); a beautifully-bred flat recruit who was last seen winning a Grade 3 at Navan in fine style. His latest victory in the Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle was no less impressive, as Jack Kennedy rode him to lead from two out, the pair staying on well to score by five and a half lengths. The second horse, Early Doors, ran home 15 lengths clear of the third horse.

MENGLI KHAN (IRE) was bred by Ballylinch Stud with undoubted flat success in mind, being a son of their Group 1 sire Lope De Vega (IRE) and a full-brother to three-time Group 2 winner Very Special (IRE). Their half-sister was the ill-fated dual Group 1 winner Chriselliam (IRE), while their Danehill dam is a half-sister to Group 1 winners Eva’s Request (IRE) and Priory Belle (IRE), with the latter also known as the grand-dam of Metropolitan winner Opinion (IRE).

Doubling up for the Elliott/Kennedy/Gigginstown team was wonder mare APPLE’S JADE, who could not have been any more impressive when taking the Grade 1 Hatton’s Grace Hurdle by nine lengths. Adding to the esteem of her victory was eight-time Grade 1 winner Nichols Canyon in second, thought Willie Mullins’ charge was having his first run since April.

Rounding up the team’s Grade 1 clean sweep was exciting chaser DEATH DUTY (IRE), who followed up October’s Grade 3 success with a three and a quarter length victory in the Grade 1 Drinmore Novice Chase, and thus maintained his unbeaten record over fences. Sent off favourite, he was ridden to victory by Davy Russell and was chased home by Willie Mullins trainee Rathvinden (IRE), himself also a Grade 3 winner in October.

Like so many talented chasers, DEATH DUTY (IRE) began his career on the Irish point-to-point circuit, where he won a maiden impressively at Cragmore for Pat Doyle. Bought at the Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale for €145,000, he was bred by Geoffrey Thompson out of the Grade 2-placed Presenting mare Midnight Gift (IRE), who is a half-sister to another Grade 2 performer in Hidden Agent (IRE). Thompson also bred two black-type performers out of the third dam and the family has gone on to produce Grade 1 winners Foxrock (IRE) and One Knight (IRE). DEATH DUTY (IRE) is by Burgage Stud sire Shantou, who will be available to view as part of January’s ITM Irish Stallion Trail (click here for more information).

Another top stallion on view during the ITM Irish Stallion Trail is Milan of Grange Stud and the County Cork farm celebrated his son and their homebred DAVIDS CHARM (IRE) winning the card’s Grade A Handicap Hurdle worth €59,000. The John Walsh-trained six-year-old gained an overdue maiden victory in June and has gone from strength-to-strength since; now the winner of three of his past four starts, his lone defeat seeing him finish second after being hampered. Sunday’s victory saw DAVIDS CHARM (IRE) beat Grade 1 performer Meri Devie by two and three parts of a length, with a further half a length back to Grade 3 performer She’s A Star (IRE) in third.

Breeders Grange Stud sold DAVID’S CHARM (IRE) to T.A. O’Brien for €9,000 at the Goffs December NH Sale, which renews next week (read more). He is out of Have More, a half-sister to Grade 2 hurdler winner Junior.


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