Willie Mullins continued his fine run of success when taking the two big races at Gowran Park.
The Co Carlow trainer saddled the Graham Wylie-owned On His Own to take the feature Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase, and Zaidpour to land the John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle in the Rich Ricci colours.
Wylie has enjoyed plenty of success since he transferred some of his string to Mullins when handler Howard Johnson was disqualified.
And On His Own (10-1) duly did the business as he powered home in the hands of David Casey, in the process earning a possible tilt at the John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree.
He had been brought down on his first run for the Mullins team at Leopardstown last month, but put in a superb display this time.
Leading five fences from home, the eight-year-old pulled steadily clear of the opposition to win by 13 lengths from Tullintain (12-1) with Jadanli (50-1) third and Adams Island (7-1 joint-favourite) fourth.
Mullins and Casey teamed up to land the Thyestes with subsequent Grand National winner Hedgehunter in 2004.
After recording a fourth success in the race, Mullins said: “This horse looks like a real Aintree type in the making, and he may have one more run before the National.
“He disappointed at Leopardstown and had to go out and prove himself today. He got a bad break at Leopardstown, so all I said to David was get him away quick and see what he does.
“David got a fantastic tune out of him as he jumped from fence to fence. He’s always been a super sub for us.”
Casey, winning the Thyestes for a third time, said: “He jumped like a buck and they went a real good gallop. A light weight helped and I gave him a breather at the top of the hill.
“I looked around at the last and couldn’t believe how far I was clear. He’s a big, strong horse and, being by Presenting, should be suited by better ground.”
Boylesports make On His Own a 20-1 chance for Aintree while Stan James go 25-1.
Ruby Walsh was at his best on Zaidpour (11-8), who lowered the colours of classy mare Voler La Vedette in the Grade Two John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle.
Firstly he set a slow early pace, before letting Whatuthink do some of the donkey work on the final circuit of this three-mile contest.
Walsh set sail for home after the third-last and though Voler La Vedette put in a strong challenge, Zaidpour always held the upper hand and won by a length.
“The tactics and ride won it for him. Ruby gave him a very sharp ride. I don’t know where he’ll go at Cheltenham, the Champion or the World Hurdle,” said Mullins.
“Today’s race wasn’t a trial for either race as they went no gallop but his connections would like to run at Cheltenham. That’s his ground.”
Stan James trimmed Zaidpour to 12-1 from 20s for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham and left Voler La Vedette unchanged at 14-1.
Burrenbridge Lodge (10-1) survived a stewards’ inquiry to claim the P.J. Foley Memorial Hurdle from One Cool Shabra, while Charles O’Brien enjoyed a rare success over jumps when Concrete And Clay (5-1) ground out a game win under 4lb claimer Matty Bowes in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle.
Moscow Mannon was cut to 12-1 by Stan James for the Weatherbys Champion Bumper after landing a hat-trick in the Nugent Spirit 25 Horsebox INH Flat Race.
Trainer Brian Hamilton said: “He’s a fair tool, and keeps improving all the time. We’ve schooled him over hurdles and were thinking of going hurdling.
“We might still consider the Cheltenham bumper. It’s 50-50. He settled lovely today but Cheltenham might blow his head. We have the alternative of running him in a few good novice hurdles to give him some experience.
“There has been plenty of interest in buying him but nobody has actually made an offer.”