Allaho made light work of the Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase at Thurles with a straightforward success under Paul Townend.
The 4-11 favourite for the Grade Two contest after his John Durkan Memorial win in December, Willie Mullins’ gelding demonstrated his class when crossing the line 12-lengths ahead of Joseph O’Brien’s Fakir D’oudairies.
Already at the head of the market for the defence of his Ryanair Chase title at the Cheltenham Festival, the victory strengthened that position and the eight-year-old is now generally priced at 5-4 for that event.
“It took a good while for him to get warmed up and he was sticky over the first few fences, where I thought he might have needed some company,” Mullins said.
“He didn’t jump really well until the fourth or fifth fence, but flew the last and Paul said he was flying at the finish.
“He is a big horse – we’ve had some huge horses over the years; Douvan, Monkfish and him.
“Some of those big horses can’t adjust at fences, but he can and danced in front of a couple of fences and does it very easily.
“If he’s not right, he isn’t afraid of taking a few quick steps to get out over them.”
He added: “We were very happy with him at home and that is it until the Ryanair – more than likely that is the race for him.”