He hadn’t won since Leopardstown in December of 2008, but showed here that there is life in the old dog yet.
Newmill, who is two years his senior, set a spanking gallop and held the call all the way down the straight.
But Andrew Lynch produced Sublimity to challenge at the last and the winner was always getting the best of the battle on the flat, the verdict half a length.
Trainer, Robbie Hennessy, reported: “That was grand, it’s great to get it out of the way. The ratings said he was a certainty, but there is no such thing.
“This time last year he had a bad suspensory problem and we didn’t know if he’d see a track again. That was nearly as a good as winning at Cheltenham, it is one of my biggest successes so far.
“He has been entered in the Irish Champion Hurdle (Leopardstown), but could go for the two miles and three Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas on Saturday week.”
Lynch completed a double when giving Henry de Bromhead’s Byerley Bear a fine drive to take the McCarthy Insurance Group Maiden Hurdle.
Tony Martin’s King Of The Refs was the business in the ring, 6-4 from 9-4, and was kicked clear by Paul Carberry approaching the home turn.
But Lynch had gradually worked his charge into the contest and Byerley Bear edged away on the flat to win decisively in the end.
Commented de Bromhead: “I’m delighted with him, we recommended the horse to Herb (Stanley, owner), after he won his bumper. He stays well and will want further in time and better ground.”
The layers got a decent result when 16-1 shot Instant Pur arrived late on the scene to land the Cork’s Student Raceday March 31st Maiden Hurdle going away from Speed Steed.
The daughter of Pyrus is trained near Punchestown by Paddy Quinlan and was partnered by his 17-year-old nephew, Jack.
The youngster flew in from Newmarket for the ride and has some eight winners to his credit in England.
Dermot Weld’s Duc de Savoie, taken at 7-4 in the morning and returned at evens, tried to make all, but had nothing left once headed two out by Speed Steed.
“Badly wanted”, exclaimed Liam Cusack after Majestic Oak had given him a welcome winner in the McCarthy Insurance Group Handicap Chase.
In front early on the final circuit for Paddy Flood, Majestic Oak kept going well for strong pressure to hold Spring The Que by three parts of a lengths.
Continued Cusack: “He’s a half-brother to Wahiba Sands and we’ll take our time and pick away at a few handicaps.”
Willie Mullins’ Morning Supreme ran her rivals ragged to land the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Mares Beginners Chase by a distance.
The doubt about the daughter of Supreme Leader was her jumping, but it was near faultless and she never threatened to fall.
“She appears to have learned from the last day (fell at Thurles) and I will try to keep her in the mares division if I can”, said Mullins.
Fasolo, trained by Charlie Swan and runner-up on his debut at Down Royal last Thursday, forged ahead a furlong and a half down to win the Bumper in the hands of Nina Carberry.
“I took a bit of a chance running back so quickly”, admitted Swan. “He’ll have a break and I might wait for J P (Magnier) to ride him somewhere.”
The opening McCarthy Insurance Group Mares Handicap Hurdle was a modest affair, but Kylebeg Krystle did well to defy top weight.
Trained and ridden by Denis Hogan, she powered through from the last to beat Ring Street Roller and Andrea’s Answer.