Felix Desjy took his unbeaten fencing record to two with a hard-fought success in the Mongey Communications Novice Chase at Punchestown.
A facile winner on his first run over the bigger obstacles at Killarney, Gordon Elliott’s charge faced a much stiffer test in this Grade Two heat.
However, the Gigginstown House Stud-owned gelding stepped up to the plate in determined fashion after making some of the early running.
Sizing Pottsie set sail for home from the fourth-last fence and had his rivals at full stretch, with Felix Desjy coming out of the pack two out.
Leading on the run-in, Felix Desjy (13-8) pulled away to score by a length and three-quarters in the hands of Jack Kennedy.
Last season’s Champion Hurdle third Darver Star, the 11-10 favourite, was eight lengths back in third, never being able to get into a challenging position.
Kennedy said: “He’s gone very relaxed now which is great because if something comes to take him on he’s not tearing away with you, that’s a great help.
“He put in a great round of jumping and I was delighted with him. He’s deadly over a fence.
“I thought Sizing Pottsie might have got away from me a little bit, but my lad loves that ground and he stays galloping.”
Felix Desjy was cut to 16-1 from 20-1 for the Sporting Life Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham with Paddy Power and Betfair.
Gavin Cromwell will forward to another day with Darver Star on better ground.
He said: “He’s fine. We’ve always known that he likes a bit of nicer ground. That soft ground made him look slow, I don’t know if he just wasn’t enjoying it.
“On the whole he jumped well enough. Obviously you’d like to be winning there today, but he didn’t run shocking and went to the line well enough.
“We’ll probably look at something over Christmas and he definitely wants a bit of nicer ground. We won’t panic yet.”