Ginto delivers more Grade 1 success for Elliott
The Grade 1 successes just keep coming for Gordon Elliott as he saddled Ginto to victory in the Lawlor's of Naas Novice Hurdle at Naas today.
After Grade 1 wins for Galvin and Fury Road in Leopardstown during the week 5/4 favourite Ginto showed great stamina to claim the big purse at Naas under Jack Kennedy.
Ginto joins an illustrious roll of honour following the win along with Envoi Allen and Bob Olinger are the two most recent winners of the Grade One contest, with both horses going on to claim the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival two months later.
After impressing on his first two starts over timber at Navan, Ginto was pushed along after three out where Grand Jury (12/1) laid down a strong challenge between the final two flights.
However, Ginto pulled away on the run-in to beat that rival by four and a quarter lengths. The winner’s stable companion Hollow Games was a neck further away in third.
The Walk in The Park gelding has remained unbeaten since losing a bumper on his racecourse debut and was making it three from three over hurdles.
"Jack (Kennedy) said he wasn’t doing a stroke the whole way. He jumped well and stays well. He’s very idle in front on his own," said trainer Elliott.
"He’s a fine looking horse. Jamie (Codd) rode him in Navan where he travelled better with a lead. He was having to do all the donkey work today and a better race will suit him better.
"It’s a first Grade 1 winner for Bective (Stud). They are big supporters of Cullentra and of Irish racing. They are on holidays in Dubai and will be watching and hopefully enjoying it.
"I think he’ll stay further, I think all he does is stay. We had to stretch them and if it turned into a sprint it wouldn’t have worked.
"Hollow Games ran very well. He was stopped a couple of times and probably should have been second," concluded the trainer.
The day got off to a fine start for local connections as Gavin Cromwell gave Keith Donoghue the leg up on Jeremys Flame which won Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Beginners Chase.
Donoghue’s mount tracked the front-running Dolcita before moving on terms two out and went on before the last to account for the Willie Mullins mare by eight lengths.
Grade 1 placed as a novice hurdler, Cromwell's eight-year-old was opening her account over fences at the eighth time of asking.
"That was very straightforward. She has plenty of experience over fences now and she had a good run the last day in Cork. It’s good to get a win with her and it’s onwards and upwards. She jumped well the whole way and picked up nicely going to the last. She can go up in trip if she has to but that is probably her trip," said Donoghue.