Battleoverdoyen returned to winning ways in the Lough Construction Ltd. Chase at Down Royal as he formed part of a Gordon Elliott five-timer.
Elliott’s seven-year-old looked sure to take high-rank among the novices last season having won a Grade One at Christmas.
But a fall in the Flogas Novice Chase and a well-beaten fourth at Cheltenham meant he had questions to answer on his return, especially up against stablemate Samcro and the odds-on favourite Easy Game.
However, Mark Walsh kept things simple and his mount never put a foot wrong, taking up the running in the straight to beat Easy Game by six lengths.
Betfair introduced the winner into their Ryanair betting at 14-1.
Elliott said: “He ran a great race and I’m delighted. He’s a good horse and I’d say we were going too far with him at the end of last year.
“I’d say two and half miles for him, something like the John Durkan, and Samcro could go there too.
“Samcro had a great race and Jack (Kennedy) said he would nearly have won if he didn’t make a mistake at the wrong time. It knocked the stuffing out of him. He did well to get back into it.”
Elliott, Kennedy and Cheveley Park Stud were all able to breath a sigh of relief following Envoi Allen’s faultless chasing debut on Friday and had two more nice prospects win earlier on the card.
Ballyadam (4-6 favourite) cost over £300,000 at the sales, but odds-on punters had their fingers burned on his Rules debut last season.
He made no mistake next time in a bumper, though, and is already as low as 10-1 with Betfair for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle having cruised to a 12-length success in the Tayto Group Maiden Hurdle and bigger targets await.
Elliott said: “He’s a fair horse. If he had winged the last, he would have gone 10 lengths further clear. He has actually learned by missing the last.
“He’ll step up into Graded company now, he’s very quick – I’d say something like the Royal Bond.
“He’s pretty smart.”
Elliott has already unleashed some smart three-year-old hurdlers, but Quilixios may be the best of them.
He did not come off the bridle in winning the Metcollect 3yo Hurdle, but he was a prohibitive 1-16 favourite and now holds the honour of heading the early betting for the Triumph Hurdle.
Elliott said: “He couldn’t have done that any easier, it was a canter around for him. He’s so laid-back about it.
“Jack said he picked up from the second last and galloped in. He’s better than that race.
“He may be one to go straight to Christmas (Leopardstown) with. Obviously there is Fairyhouse, but I think we will go straight to Christmas. He has loads of experience.”
The Cheveley Park colours were also carried to victory in the closing bumper as Elliott won it for the sixth year in a row with Sir Gerhard (2-5 favourite) who made a huge impression in the hands of Jamie Codd.
Elliott also won the feature Ladbrokes Champion Chase with The Storyteller to cap a fruitful two days at Down Royal.
He said: “It’s been a great couple of days with eight winners here and a winner in Wetherby too. A few got beaten and a few won and that’s the way it is, but I’m very happy with the way it went.
“He (Sir Gerhard) is a nice horse. We might go to Navan now for that Listed bumper and see where we go from there.”
Cayd Boy (10-1) provided Liz Doyle with a nice winner in the WKD Handicap Hurdle.
Walsh brought the handicap newcomer down the outside, which meant he missed trouble at the second last when The Very Man fell, bringing down Drop The Anchor.
Walsh said: “We actually didn’t go much of a gallop which suited my fellow because he has a good turn of foot.
“I just got a nice position turning into the straight, kicked him on at the second last and he winged it.”