War Of Attrition stayed on strongly to win the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup for Ireland on St Patrick’s Day.
The seven-year-old, trained by Mouse Morris and ridden by Conor O’Dwyer, took the blue riband of steeplechasing from last year’s Grand National winner Hedgehunter.
Forget The Past was third as Irish-trained horses filled the first three places, with French raider L’Ami fourth.
Leading at the second-last, War Of Attrition (15-2) was hard-pressed by Ruby Walsh on Hedgehunter (16-1) but proved conclusively he stays this extended three and a quarter miles.
He never looked like stopping up the testing hill and went on to land the spoils by two and a half lengths.
Forget The Past (9-1) could not quite live with the first two in the closing stages and was seven lengths away in third, but 4-1 favourite Beef Or Salmon was a major disappointment.
O'Dwyer, victorious in this race on Imperial Call 10 years ago, told Channel 4 Racing: ``It was an easy ride, he pinged the last two fences when he just stood off and he loves racing.
“This is an emotional moment and we made the right decision to come here – it has paid off.
“He jumped super and we had a great run – I had to come wide but he is only a second-season novice so I didn’t want to be too tight on him either.
“When I wanted to go he was able to go, which was a huge plus.”