Joseph O’Brien dominated the Eur 30 Free Bet Baroneracing.com Juvenile Hurdle, with Cerberus holding off stablemate A Wave Of The Sea.
The two had met back in October when only a neck separated them – with A Wave Of The Sea coming out on top, before being subsequently bought by JP McManus.
With a 4lb swing at the weights, Cerberus had every chance of turning the tables – because both had come out and won since their original meeting.
Robbie Power bounced Cerberus into an early lead, and some swift jumping meant A Wave Of The Sea was always slightly on the back foot. Then in the home straight, Cerberus put the race to bed with a smart change of gear.
He came home two and a quarter lengths in front of his fellow 5-4 joint-favourite in the Grade Three.
“They both ran well, and probably the quicker horse won a tactical race,” said O’Brien.
“He’s very quick through the air and always very accurate. He had the form – and they are two decent three-year-olds.
“They will probably both go to Leopardstown (at Christmas), and stamina will come more into play there. This place always favours a bit of speed, and that ground is not too bad.”
Killer Miller (10-1) came with a late flourish to win the 1800 624 524 Telebetting Baroneracing.com Porterstown Handicap Chase.
Three came into the straight with a realistic chance as Ah Littleluck led a McManus duo of Mon Lino and Killer Miller.
It was Noel Meade’s Killer Miller under Sean Flanagan who flew home, though, to win by a length and three-quarters from Mon Lino.
Meade said: “He’s had plenty of problems and hasn’t run that many times, even though he’s been around for a long time.
“We couldn’t get him right all last season, and I thought when he went back to Martinstown we might not see him again – because he looked terrible.
“The three fences taken out in the back straight probably helped, because he wasn’t winging them. It gave him a chance to get into the race without too much hassle.
“I suppose he’ll be back her for the National, and we’ll look at all the long-distances chases. He’s in the Paddy Power – but that could be a bit short for him, and he could go for the National Trial at Punchestown.”
Willie Mullins’ Janidil (3-1 favourite) defied a 10lb rise under Mark Walsh to win the Download The App Baroneracing.comHandicap Hurdle, from stablemate Buildmeupbuttercup.
“It was a great run for a novice, and he’s improving all the time,” said the winning trainer.
“I hope there is more improvement in him, and the second mare ran a great race. She just has to brush up on her jumping.
“He could go into Graded company – although I don’t think I would like to be taking on Envoi Allen just yet!”
O’Brien capped a great afternoon, having also won the Drinmore Novice Chase with Fakir D’oudairies, when Eric Bloodaxe (11-2) prevailed in the Royalhousedraw.com (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race for jockey Tom Hamilton.
Mullins’ Ferny Hollow was all the rage but did himself no favours when racing keen throughout, and was beaten two and a half lengths in second.
O’Brien said of his third winner on the card: “He’d been working nicely at home – obviously in a bumper like that first time out, it’s hard to be confident, but we were hoping he’d run a good race.
“To see him win like that first time out, having never run in a point-to-point, is very impressive.
“He’s a very nice horse, and we’ll look at Leopardstown either at Christmas or in February. He’s a good prospect.”