Battleoverdoyen kept his unbeaten record over fences intact with a dour staying victory in the Liam & Valerie Brennan Memorial Florida Pearl Novice Chase.
Gordon Elliott’s powerful six-year-old, with Davy Russell in the saddle for Gigginstown House Stud, doubled his chasing tally in the Grade Two feature at Punchestown.
Russell tracked the pace, set first by Dandy Mag and then Any Second Now, before getting serious into the straight as Battleoverdoyen responded to pressure to take over at the second-last and surge clear and win by five lengths as the 2-5 favourite.
Any Second Now, hero of last season’s Kim Muir at Cheltenham, chased him home – but once Battleoverdoyen got to the front over this two miles six and a half furlongs, he was never going to stop.
Betfair responded by shortening the winner from 12-1 to 8-1 for the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase, and Elliott said: “He’s a nice horse, and I think he wants three miles.
“The second is a 150-rated Cheltenham Festival winner.
“It looked like he didn’t do a whole lot when he hit the front.
“He’s a big chaser – and with a horse like him, you would prefer to have the (omitted) fences in (in the back straight).”
Battleoverdoyen is unlikely to join his illustrious stablemate Samcro in next month’s Grade One Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse, despite having followed up his fencing debut.
“He’s improved in fitness from Galway,” added Elliott.
“He’s in the Drinmore, but I’d say that will come a bit soon, and we’ll probably step him up to three miles in Leopardstown at Christmas.
“Samcro will go for the Drinmore, and we’ll probably run something else along with him.”
Elliott is also busy juggling options for his outstanding crop of novices over hurdles.
His updated plans do not include unbeaten bumper star Malone Road, however.
Absent with injury for the past 12 months, the five-year-old is unlikely to be fit after all to return over hurdles this season.
Elliott said: “Envoi Allen and Andy Dufresne are both in good form after their wins – but Malone Road has had another setback, and we probably won’t see him this season.
“Envoi Allen will go for the Royal Bond (at Fairyhouse), and maybe Abracadabras as well.
“Andy Dufresne will probably go two and a half miles at Navan next month.”