Notre Pere demonstrated his admirable stamina - not to mention a real touch of class - in powering to victory in the Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup today.
Partnered by Andrew Lynch, the Jim Dreaper-trained Welsh National winner stayed on stoutly in testing conditions to score a convincing 13-length victory.
Schindlers Hunt kept up the gallop to snatch second while Scotsirish was third.
Lynch kept Jim Dreaper's charge handy throughout the three-mile-one-furlong heat, with Roll Along and Air Force One in the early firing line.
However, the testing ground soon began to find out one or two, with Miko De Beauchene crashing out seven fences from home while 2006 winner War Of Attrition was pulled up after toiling from halfway.
That left the way clear for Notre Pere to assert and he was around 10 lengths in front coming down to the second-last with the distance only increasing before the line.
Ryanair Chase winner Imperial Commander was another to be pulled up.
Totesport handed the winner a 10-1 quote for the 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup, and Dreaper said: "The ground came right for him today and although it may not have helped the other guys, we had him bang on for this.
"I was very happy with him beforehand and he has done it really well.
"It didn't suit us to go on when we did, but he wouldn't have to do that in a Gold Cup.
"He would have a chance in a heavy-ground Gold Cup. He would run in the race on yielding but to have any chance of winning it would have to be soft.
"He is rated in the 160s whereas Kauto Star and Denman are in the 170s, but he is the best I have got and the best there is in Ireland.
"I am delighted to get today out of the way."