Woodland Opera made most of the running to extend his winning streak to three in the PWC Champion Chase at Gowran Park.
Jessica Harrington’s eight-year-old had enjoyed a couple of confidence boosters over hurdles of late, but there were no worries back over the bigger obstacles.
Ridden confidently by Robbie Power, the 5-1 shot briefly looked in trouble as Jury Duty loomed up to challenge.
However, Power had kept enough up his sleeve and once he jumped the last, Woodland Opera scooted away to win by 10 lengths with Peregrine Run back in third.
The race was robbed of some of its lustre as Ryanair Chase victor Balko Des Flo, Enda Bolger’s Ballyoisin and the Willie Mullins-trained Ballycasey were all declared non-runners due to the ground.
Harrington said: “Robbie said the couple of runs over hurdles have sharpened him up a lot.
“He went three miles the last time, so Robbie said ‘I can jump out and make it and make them come to me’.
“I said ‘you were very brave at the last’ and he said ‘I didn’t know how near they were’. I said to him ‘if you’d fallen, you were going to go from here to Carlow before you stopped’.
“We’ll keep him going, I’m not sure quite where, as long as the ground is good. I haven’t a clue where he’ll go as I didn’t exactly expect to win this.
“He’ll get a break during the winter and will go out. I made him run all through the winter as a younger horse and now I’m getting sense.
“He’ll go three miles on that ground because he wasn’t stopping today.”