Ruby Walsh delivered Easy Game with a perfectly-timed run to win a dramatic renewal of the “Monksfield” Novice Hurdle at Navan.
Samcro won the race for Gordon Elliott last year, and there was plenty of pre-race buzz about stablemate Dinons – who was sent off the 3-1 joint-favourite as he sought a sixth successive victory.
Fellow market leader First Approach set out to make all, but he was starting to come under pressure with three to jump as Davy Russell switched out Dinons to challenge.
But fellow Elliott inmate Sometime Soon suffered a horrible-looking fall at that flight, hampering Dinons in the process – and Russell eased his mount down as his chance was gone.
Up front, Choungaya went for home before the last, with Magnium in hot pursuit, but it was Easy Game who challenged latest of all on the outside – and Walsh got him up to win by a neck and a head on the line for Willie Mullins.
Walsh said: “The luck goes with you some days. and against you others.
“We were hoping he could run well, and to pick up the pot was brilliant. He’s honest and he jumps and tries for you.”