Abacadabras maintained his unbeaten record over jumps with an impressive display in the For Auction Novice Hurdle at Navan.
Fourth behind esteemed stable companion Envoi Allen in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival in March, the Gordon Elliott-trained five-year-old went on to finish second in the equivalent contest at Punchestown before being given his summer break.
Having made a successful reappearance on his hurdling debut at Gowran Park last month, Abacadabras was the 9-10 favourite for a Grade Three contest his trainer has won with Labaik (2016) and Mengli Khan (2017) in recent years – and his supporters can have had few concerns at any point in the race.
Ridden with restraint by Robbie Power, the Gigginstown House Stud-owned runner cruised into contention early in the home straight.
Paul Nolan’s Latest Exhibition emerged as the main threat, but Elliott’s charge had too many guns after the final flight and pulled three lengths clear without being fully extended.
“That’s our 100th jumps winner of the season between England and Ireland, so it’s nice to get it in a Graded race,” said Elliott.
“He’s a nice horse. We thought a lot of him in bumpers last year, and he ran a bit keen at both Cheltenham and Punchestown.
“He jumped well there today, and Puppy (Power) liked him.”
Abacadabras appears likely to renew rivalry with Envoi Allen in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse on December 1.
“He’s probably another horse that will go to the Royal Bond in Fairyhouse now,” Elliott added.
“Puppy said he was very quick getting away from his hurdles – and he was very happy. We’ll keep him to two miles at the moment.”