One-time Classic contender Carlo Biraghi could be Cheltenham Festival-bound after making a successful start to his jumping career at Punchestown.
The son of Galileo made a big impression on his racecourse debut at the Curragh last May.
He disappointed when stepped up in to Listed class for the King George V Cup at Leopardstown, but it is perhaps a measure of the regard in which he is held that trainer Fozzy Stack still ran him in the Irish Derby, in which he finished 10th behind Joseph O’Brien’s Latrobe.
Making his first competitive appearance since – and having been gelded in the meantime – Carlo Biraghi was a 12-1 shot for the Introducing Racing TV Maiden Hurdle and travelled powerfully behind the pacesetting Andalusa for much of the two-mile journey.
He showed signs of his inexperience when wandering around on the run to the final flight, but picked up well on the run-in to score by seven and a half lengths from Pienta in the hands of Danny Mullins.
The four-year-old was cut to as short as 14-1 for the Triumph Hurdle at Prestbury Park in March and Stack confirmed a trip across the Irish Sea will be seriously considered.
He said: “I thought he was going to run out at the last, but he jumped quite well up to that.
“We won’t go to the Dublin Racing Festival (at Leopardstown) because it’s a bit too close, and we’ll get another run into him before Cheltenham or Aintree or one of the Festivals.
“We will mix it over the summer with the Flat, and he could go for something like a Chester Cup or the Ebor.
“He stays well and will gallop all day long.”