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Ginto claims Grade One gold for Elliott and Kennedy

Envoi Allen and Bob Olinger are recent Lawlor’s Of Naas winners who have gone on to Cheltenham glory.

Jack Kennedy wins on Ginto.
Jack Kennedy wins on Ginto.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

GINTO ADDED HIS name to an illustrious roll of honour with a front-running victory in the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle.

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 the 5-4 favourite to successfully graduate to the highest level and led from start to finish under Jack Kennedy.

The market leader began to come under pressure from the home turn, but kept finding and was ultimately well on top as he passed the post with just over four lengths in hand over Grand Jury.

Hollow Games, like the winner trained by Gordon Elliott, was just a neck further behind in third.

gordon-elliott-after-winning-the-lawlors-of-naas-novice-hurdle-with-ginto Gordon Elliott. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Elliott said: “Jack 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.

“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 One winner for Bective (Stud, owners). They are big supporters of Cullentra and of Irish racing. They are on holiday 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.”

jack-kennedy-celebrates-after-winning-on-ginto Jack Kennedy celebrates after winning. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Earlier Blue Lord outclassed his two rivals to make it two from two over fences in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Chase at Naas.

Runner-up to Bob Olinger in the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle on this card 12 months ago, the seven-year-old went on to be placed in two other Grade Ones at Leopardstown and Punchestown.

He also looked booked for second behind Appreciate It in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham until falling at the final flight.

Having made an impressive start to his chasing career at Fairyhouse three weeks ago, Blue Lord was the 1-4 favourite to follow up in a race won by stablemate Energumene last season – and the result was scarcely in doubt.

While several obstacles were omitted due to low sun, the Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old jumped well and readily coasted 20 lengths clear of Lifetime Ambition in the home straight under Paul Townend.

Mullins said: “That looks a nice improvement on what he did the first day and I’d say he’s improving all the time.

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“He galloped all the way to the line with Paul and looks an Arkle horse.”

Jeremys Flame (15-8) opened her account over fences at the eighth attempt in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Beginners Chase.

Gavin Cromwell’s charge was not winning out of turn in the two-mile-three-furlong contest, having been placed on each of her three previous outings this season.

Runner-up to the high-class Concertista in a Grade Two at Cork on her latest outing, Jeremys Flame went one better with an eight-length verdict over Dolcita, with 5-4 favourite Roseys Hollow back in third.

“That was very straightforward,” said winning jockey Keith Donoghue.

“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.”

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