The Noel Meade-trained nine-year-old claimed the first of his two Grade One triumphs to date at Down Royal in 2014, following up in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown before going on to finish third in that season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup.
He lined up in Saturday’s PWC Champion Chase on a recovery mission after falling at Punchestown and pulling up in the Galway Plate on his two most recent starts and while he was no match for the Willie Mullins-trained Ballycasey, Meade was pleased to see his stable star get his career back on track by finishing a clear second.
“He’s good, he came out of the race great,” said the Tu Va-based trainer.
“We were delighted with how he ran. He jumped a lot better than he did in Galway and while he was a long way behind your man (Ballycasey), we were happy.
“We didn’t want him to have a bad experience like he had the time before and he didn’t have a hard race.
“All going well, he’ll go up the north (Down Royal).”
Meanwhile Snow Leopardess is set to commence her career over jumps at the end of this month after her stylish bumper success at Gowran Park last week.
A winner on her Doncaster debut in February, the Charlie Longsdon-trained four-year-old then finished fifth at Aintree’s Grand National meeting before being given a summer break.
She travelled to Ireland in search of Listed honours on her seasonal reappearance and beat a whole host of previous winners in good style under leading amateur Jamie Codd.
Longsdon said: “She couldn’t have done it any more comfortably and I think she’s a nice filly.
“The plan now would be to go jumping. There’s not much left for her to do in bumpers and she jumps well at home.
“We’ll start off low and see how far she can take us. We’ll probably start off at the end of October somewhere.
“Hopefully she’ll end up at one of the big meetings in the spring.”