The 8/1 shot gave trainer Gordon Elliott his third consecutive win in the race, denying his better-fancied stable-companion Roi Du Mee — bidding for a hat-trick in the race — with easy-to-back 4/5 favourite First Lieutenant two lengths away third.
Toner D’Oudairies, the second leg of a double for jockey Bryan Cooper (originally due to partner the withdrawn Tofino Bay) got the better of front-running Roi Du Mee (Davy Condon) on the run-in to score by three-quarters of a length.
Trainer Elliott, admitting mixed feelings about the outcome, stated: “The only mistake I made was running the winner — I really wanted Roi Do Mee to get the hat-trick. He’s a smashing little horse and jumps great for his size.”
Discussing the winner, he added: “I wasn’t keen for this fellow to have a hard race in this type of contest. In many ways, this is his Gold Cup.”
Bryan Cooper had earlier landed the Grade 3 Buck House Novice Chase on even-money favourite Art Of Logistics, for his boss Dessie Hughes, who returned to the racecourse yesterday for the first time since undergoing serious stomach surgery .
Art Of Logistics readily brushed aside the challenge of Six Stone Ned to the delight of his trainer: “That was a good performance for a five-year-old. He was always going to be a chaser but he’s had two quick runs, so we’ll back off him for a while.”
Hughes was completing a double with Logistics, having earlier saddled Somethingwonderful to justify strong support in the Buy Your 2014 Annual Badge Maiden Hurdle.
Ridden by Davy Russell, he beat Park Ranger emphatically. His trainer commented: “I had to come to see that fellow. He’s going to be a very nice horse. His job will be chasing and he’ll have no problem staying two and a half miles.”
The Jessica Harrington-trained mare Cailin Annamh has enjoyed a phenomenally successful campaign over the summer months and completed a hurdling four-timer when, having survived an untidy jump three from home, she came home strongly to land the Grade 3 Grabel Mares Hurdle in impressive style.