Ginto makes striking impression at Navan

Ginto is two from two over hurdles after a runaway success in the Grade Two Navan Novice Hurdle for Jamie Codd and Gordon Elliott.

Starting as the 11-8 favourite from a field of five runners, the five-year-old ran prominently through the two-and-a-half-mile contest and took up the lead over the third hurdle from home.

From there the gelding was comfortably able to pull away, striding clear of the Joseph O’Brien-trained Eric Bloodaxe to register an impressive 11-length victory.

“That was great, he’s the horse we thought he was,” Elliott said.

“He’s a big galloper. From the second-last to the line is what I loved today, he just galloped. He’s a good horse.”

Ginto could now head for the Lawlor’s of Naas Novice Hurdle, a Grade One event run over the same trip in January.

“He’ll get an entry for the race at Naas and we’ll see,” said Elliott.

“We’ll have a chat with (owners) Noel and Valerie (Moran) and see what they want to do.

“He’s a chaser in the making.”

Betfair slashed the winner in price to 12-1 from 25-1 for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

Codd, meanwhile, was replacing Davy Russell, with Elliott adding: “He just sprained his wrist and he’ll be all right.”

Riviere D'etel maintained her unbeaten record over fences in style
Riviere D’etel maintained her unbeaten record over fences in style (PA)

Elliott and the Morans made it a big-race double when the equally-promising Riviere D’etel recorded a straightforward victory in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Klairon Davis Novice Chase, this time with Denis O’Regan doing the steering.

Winner of her first two chasing assignments and sent off the 1-4 favourite, the four-year-old filly had little trouble making the transition to Grade Three company, bowling along in front from the off and coming home 12 lengths clear of Take All.

Elliott said: “She’s a good mare. Whether we go for something at Christmas or not, I don’t know.

“She’s had two runs now and Noel and Valerie are away on holidays for Christmas, we came here for that reason. We’ll see how she is and how she comes out of the race.

“Denis said she’s actually become really relaxed when she gets to the front. They didn’t let her away and she jumped very professionally. I’m very happy with her.”

Commander Of Fleet was a 40-1 winner for Shane Fitzgerald and Elliott in the valuable Bective Stud Handicap Hurdle.

In a large field of 28 runners, the seven-year-old put two unsuccessful runs this term behind him when prevailing by two and a half lengths from Denis Cullen’s A Great View.

Carrying a sizeable burden of 11st 5lb, Elliott’s gelding, who was a Grade One-winning novice, could now target the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham.

“It was a good performance. He was a good horse back in the day,” the trainer said.

“To be honest I was worried he had a lot of weight, but it was a good performance and he did it well. I was very happy with him.

“He was running well the last day before he fell, so that’s great. We might try to qualify him for the Pertemps now.”

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