Riviere D’etel ran her rivals into the ground with an impressive all-the-way win in the Grade Two BetVictor Casino Novice Chase at Punchestown.
Taking advantage of the weight allowances, the four-year-old filly romped home 21 lengths clear of the 8-11 favourite Cape Gentleman, who was conceding 18lb to the winner.
Denis O’Regan made his intentions clear from the start as he kicked Riviere D’etel (9-4) into the lead from flag fall. Cape Gentleman was always in second place, keeping tabs on the Gordon Elliott-trained leader.
When it looked as though Cape Gentleman would mount a serious challenge, Riviere D’etel pulled away to win in convincing fashion and back up her chasing debut success at Fairyhouse last month.
“I thought she was very good. She jumped well and Denis gave her a good ride, she’s a nice mare,” said Elliott.
“We said we’d let her stride along and use all the allowances. She might have won with 10lb more, whether she would have won with 18lb more I don’t know, but she won very well.
“There is a mares’ race in Cork in a few weeks (Grade Two Lombardstown Chase on December 5) and there is also a novice chase in Navan (December 18).
“I wouldn’t rule anything out with her and we’ll keep all our options open.”
Riviere D’etel was cut to 14-1 from 33-1 for the Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival with Betfair.
French Dynamite took full advantage of the absence of Bob Olinger to record an impressive success in the BetVictor Loyalty Club Beginners Chase.
Henry de Bromhead’s Bob Olinger was due to make his eagerly-awaited debut over fences, but the Cheltenham Festival winner was ruled out with a stone bruise.
That left French Dynamite as the even-money favourite in the same colours of Robcour, and the result was never in doubt from some way out.
Fourth in the Champion Stayers Hurdle at Punchestown, the Mouse Morris-trained six-year-old had faced a stiff task on his chasing bow in a Grade Three won by Cape Gentleman at Cork last month – but showed the benefit of that experience had not been lost on him.
Morris said: “That was nice and he’s progressing nicely. He has a bit to learn yet, but he’s going the right way.
“He’s not in the Drinmore and won’t run there. I wouldn’t mind getting another run into him somewhere before Christmas.
“The programme is not very conducive to staying chasers. We’ll have a look at maybe travelling.
“He loves that ground and Darragh (O’Keeffe) said his jumping was awesome.”
Top Bandit gave Elliott a double when adding to his Cheltenham success last month in the Extra Places Every Day At BetVictor Rated Novice Hurdle.
Leading between the last two flights under Davy Russell, the 2-1 favourite quickly put the race to bed to score by two and a half lengths from Sit Down Lucy.
Stable representative Aidan O’Ryan said: “He’s a grand horse and is improving away the whole time. I’m sure Gordon will find something similar for him and his future will be over the big ones.”
Lunar Power made all the running to win the BetVictor Proud To Support Irish Racing 3yo Hurdle.
Trainer Noel Meade had been disappointed with his hurdling debut at Down Royal in August, but the three-year-old gelding has since gone on to win and be second on the Flat.
Lunar Power (6-4) beat the 11-10 favourite Iberique Du Seuil for the Elloott team by four and three-quarter lengths in the hands of Bryan Cooper.
“That was more like it. I don’t know what happened him in the north, he got a fright at the first and then his jumping just got worse and worse,” said Meade.
“In fairness to the horse he probably wasn’t at this best either. Between the north and Leopardstown the last day he was a different horse, he bolted in last time.
“Maybe it was being in front, but my horses weren’t right for a lot of the time during the summer. But he was running well even when they weren’t right.
“He jumps well and there is no reason he can’t compete with them in the better juvenile races.
“He has an engine and he stays well, for three-year-old hurdling that’s what you want.”