Grade One-winning chaser Bog Warrior notched his second consecutive victory over the smaller obstacles with a smart display in the Follow Punchestown On Facebook Hurdle.
After falling on his seasonal reappearance over fences at Down Royal, Bog Warrior was given a confidence-boosting run over timber at Fairyhouse, running out an impressive winner. Stepped up in class at Punchestown, the gelding was sent off the 11-8 favourite for a fascinating affair that also featured top-class hurdler Solwhit's return from over 700 days off the track.
Bog Warrior was ridden positively by Davy Russell and only Solwhit was able to go with him from the home turn. The latter briefly looked a danger, but his lack of race-fitness then appeared to take its toll and Bog Warrior pulled clear for a six-and-a-half length success.
Charles Byrnes will undoubtedly be delighted with Solwhit's comeback run, while Staying Article was a distant third. Dual Royal Ascot winner Simenon was once again a big disappointment.
Winning trainer Tony Martin said: "I'm thrilled with that. He improved from the north and at Fairyhouse he was good, but that was him today and it's great to see.
"There was no hiding place for anything there. I'll have a chat with the boys now (owners, Gigginstown House Stud) and see what way they want to go.
"It's just great to get a couple of wins with him. I'm just happy to go for something nice after today. We'll see how he is in the morning and week ahead. That's the most important thing as he's had a few problems in the past."
Paddy Power make Bog Warrior a 12-1 shot for the World Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.
Byrnes said of Solwhit: "I'm well pleased with that. Andrew (Lynch) said he gave a good blow after the second last and the winner is a good horse on that ground.
"I'm happy going forward now and hopefully he's OK in the morning. We could look at the Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas over two miles and three furlongs (January 19), or the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran (January 24) over three miles. I'll probably make an entry for the Irish Champion Hurdle, but I'd doubt if he'd run in it."
27 July 2016Chasing switch still on Cole Harden agenda
Gimcrack a likely goal for Newbury victor Mokarris
Triumphant team consider drop in class after Ascot disappointment
Super Mac signs off with winning Connection at Goodwood
Elidor the horse for the big occasion
War Decree lays down the law with Vintage performance
Fire Fighting too hot for Goodwood king Mark Johnston
Ulysses primed to bounce back in Gordon Stakes
No grounds for concern with The Last Lion team
Meade seeking Galway Plate Riches with Road again
Hugo Palmer keen to savour winning feeling once more with Galileo Gold
Enda Bolger leads tributes to former amateur star JT McNamara
26 July 2016All-the-way Creggs Pipes powers to Galway glory
Connections to appeal Ascot demotion of Namhroodah
Dutch delight for Charlie Hills and James McDonald
Former star amateur JT McNamara dies aged 41
Competition watchdog orders sale of 350-400 shops before Ladbrokes/Coral merger
Swamp Fox takes control in Galway feature
Wolverhampton shock as Dandy Flame wins at 200-1
Willie Mullins embarks upon chasing career with Galway-bound Briar Hill
Pyromaniac given green light to run in Galway Hurdle
No Goodwood going concerns for Stewards' Cup favourite Orion's Bow
Brian Ellison bemoans Baraweez draw in Galway showpiece
Charlie Appleby anticipating Vintage display from Boynton
Minding tops 10 contenders for Nassau glory at Goodwood
Hugo Palmer hoping Lennox pair can make their mark at Goodwood
25 July 2016Buonarroti and Declan Carroll launch successful Ayr raid
Josephine Gordon and Joe Fanning receive Shergar Cup call-up
Richard Hannon calls time on Illuminate racing career
Antiquarium misses Goodwood Cup outing due to injury
Hugo Palmer eyeing German Oaks bid with Architecture
Martyn Meade mulling Aclaim options following Newbury run
Morny set to be next on Tis Marvellous agenda
Classic trio lead 10 contenders for Sussex test
Lonsdale date likely for Trip To Paris
Seven Heavens team bide their time
Convey delivers at Pontefract
Rookie trainer Robbie McNamara has Chadic fired up for Galway
Tis Marvellous surges to Papin glory for Clive Cox and Adam Kirby
Andrew Balding looking towards Solario date with South Seas
Gordon Elliott hoping Clarcam can rise to Galway Plate challenge
Ascot hero My Dream Boat enjoying summer break
Boynton tops 10 runners to take Vintage test at Goodwood
Time Test may have been below his best in York win feels Roger Charlton
Godolphin triple-handed in eight-runner Lennox Stakes at Goodwood
24 July 2016Clem Fandango team to bide their time following Super run
Alexios Komnenos team bide their time on future plans
Roger Charlton confident Fair Eva will handle distance increase
King George hero Highland Reel angling for world domination
Kimberella ghosts home for Dandy Nicholls in York Dash
Librisa Breeze blows hot to earn International honours at Ascot
Time Test fends off Mondialiste to claim York Stakes
Frankel filly Fair Eva dazzles in Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot
Apex King rules at Ascot on 'emotional' day for Eddery family
Lumiere to bypass Goodwood in favour of Deauville test
Prince Of Lir heads dual British raid on Prix Robert Papin
Emma Lavelle on weather watch ahead of Junction Fourteen Galway goal