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WATCH - Gordon Elliott's Death Duty survives last flight blunder to make winning debut over fences

Davy Russell steered Death Duty to victory
Davy Russell steered Death Duty to victory Newsdesk Newsdesk

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 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.

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.

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