Two-time Grade One winner Death Duty, one of the leading lights of the novice chase battalion, has been ruled out for the rest of the season due to a hind joint injury.

A top-class novice hurdler, the seven-year-old son of Shantou won four of his six starts over timber, which included Grade One success in the G1 Lawlor’s Hotel Novice Hurdle, before he disappointed when favourite for the G1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

However, the Irish-bred gelding was always destined to make a strapping chaser given his size and scope, with the Irish-bred gelding not disappointing with victory in his first three starts over the larger obstacles, culminating with a three and a quarter-length victory in the G1 Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse.

A crashing final-fence fall in the G1 Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown last time occurred with Death Duty at the time booked for third behind the impressive winner Footpad. However, the two-mile trip that day was never destined to suit and connections were anticipating a tilt at either the G1 RSA Chase or G1 JLT Novices’ Chase at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

However, a hind joint injury has not ruled him out for the rest of the season with Eddie O’Leary commenting: 

Unfortunately he’ll be out for the season. I’d say it probably happened earlier than the fall because it is a problem with a hind joint. Hopefully he’ll be back next season.