Sir Oj won a thrilling renewal of the Grade Two Clonmel Oil Chase for Noel Meade and Paul Carberry.
Despite jumping left throughout, Carberry managed to rejuvenate his mount after the last fence and force Sir Oj’s head in front in the dying strides to pip the unfortunate Kill Devil Hill by a short head.
War Of Attrition won the corresponding race 12 months ago and it seemed likely that Kill Devil Hill (4-1) would be keeping the prize for the Gigginstown Stud only for the 11-8 favourite to dig deep into his reserves for a second success at Grade Two level this term.
It was a promising reappearance from the runner-up, however, and connections will be thrilled with the six-year-old, who won the Grade One Drinmore Novice Chase last season, as he jumped with real enthusiasm.
Sher Beau finished third with 12-year-old Adamant Approach finishing last of the four runners, but five lengths would have covered the field.
Noel Meade said of the winner, who was given a 14-1 quote by Boylesports for the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival: “Paul said he hated the ground. “It’s very holding and deep, he jumps left anyway but it was exaggerated today as he did not like the ground. But we have to go where the races are.
“It’s probably his best trip, but I’ve no idea where we go next, probably something at Christmas. He thinks a bit about the game, but he battled at the finish.”