Gordon Elliott notches up Grade 1 treble at Fairyhouse racecourse with Mengli Khan, Apple’s Jade and Death Duty

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GORDON ELLIOTT pulled further clear of Willie Mullins in the trainers’ championship with a brilliant Grade 1 treble at Fairyhouse on Sunday.

Mengli Khan kicked off the day with victory in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle before Apple’s Jade ran away with the Hatton’s Grace and Death Duty was triumphant in the Drinmore Novice Chase.

 Gordon Elliott celebrates his hat-trick with Death Duty

PA

Gordon Elliott celebrates his hat-trick with Death Duty

Mengli Khan stepped up on his Grade 3 win to take the Royal Bond under a great ride from Jack Kennedy.

Kennedy said: “In his last couple of races he wasn’t really settling, but he’s such a big horse with a long stride, he just needed a good gallop. We got it today and he’s done it very well.

 Mengli Khan clears the last under Jack Kennedy

Sportsfile

Mengli Khan clears the last under Jack Kennedy

“He’s such a big horse it’s hard to believe he ran on the Flat as a two-year-old, but he seems to have it anyway.

“He’s a top-class horse.”

 Kennedy shows his appreciation for Apple's Jade after their Grade 1 win

Sportsfile

Kennedy shows his appreciation for Apple’s Jade after their Grade 1 win

Just half an hour later on the card, Apple’s Jade destroyed the field in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle with a front-running masterclass under Kennedy. Mullins’ Nichols Canyon could only manage a distant second.

Elliott said: “She looked class, to be honest. We thought she was a lot stronger at home. She’s like a bull and Jack gave her a great ride.

“I was always taught to win the race you can win, so the mares’ race will be the one I’ll go for, all being well.

“She’s only five years of age and she’s won six Grade 1s. She’s a different mare at home than she was last year.

 Apple's Jade keeps finding more in front

PA

Apple’s Jade keeps finding more in front

“The way she kept pulling it out, you’d have to be nothing but impressed with her.”

Davy Russell then steered Death Duty home as he continued his unbeaten run over fences.

Russell said: “You can do what you want on the likes of this horse. He’s a good horse.

 Death Duty on his way to victory at Fairyhouse

Sportsfile

Death Duty on his way to victory at Fairyhouse

“He jumped very good today and Gordon was happy for me to do what I wanted.

“It’s great to get the opportunity to ride these horses. Gordon is so good to us and spreads them out well.

“I’d say trip is variable with him. Where he’ll go will be dictated by whether he stays sound.”

Paying tribute to Elliott, the jockey added: “We talk about Willie (Mullins) and Willie is so good, he puts the benchmark so high for these trainers.

“I suppose Gordon is one reaching up for that mark. He’s a fantastic trainer and a great man to ride for.

 Davy Russell praised Gordon Elliott

Sportsfile

Davy Russell praised Gordon Elliott

“Willie is an exceptional man, but today is Gordon’s day and Gordon is the up and coming youth of the game, which is great to see.

“I’m on the way out and he’s on the way in!”

Templegate’s treble

NAP 1.40 Plumpton – Act Now: ‘Loves it around here, has conditions to suit and will go close with Noel Fehily up’ (add to your betslip)

NEXT BEST 2.40 Plumpton – Flight Commander: ‘Drops into this grade for the first time and should be hard to catch’ (add to your betslip)

TREBLE 1.50 Southwell – Mujassam: ‘Could be the one after a significant drop in the weights’ (add to your betslip)

Elliott added: “This is what it’s all about. To train three Grade 1 winners in one day is unbelievable, it’s something you dream about.

“Fairyhouse is one of my local tracks and it seems to be lucky for me. All the lads are here from the yard and my father is here and they’ll all be delighted.”



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