Boston Bob got up in the very last stride to win a thrilling race for the Dr PJ Moriarty Novice Chase at Leopardstown.
Willie Mullins' highly regarded eight-year-old looked beaten when he dropped back to fourth after tracking the pacesetting Lyreen Legend, but he rallied in amazing fashion on the run to the line.
Paul Carberry appeared to have brought Texas Jack with a perfectly timed run and though he got the better of Lord Windermere and Lyreen Legend, he simply had no answer to the late dash of Paul Townend on the 6-4 favourite.
Mullins said: "Once Paul dropped him back and gave him a breather he flew home and we're very pleased with him. It was a very brave performance from the horse and we changed tactics from Navan, where he jumped very big and carefully.
"The drier ground at Cheltenham will be a huge help and I think he'll improve through the spring and on to Punchestown.
"In my head I was thinking of the Jewson (at Cheltenham) for him, but there is four or five weeks to go and certainly if it was soft I wouldn't mind going for the Jewson, but it does look like he wants a longer trip.
"I'm not sure he's yet back to his best form from last year, but he is coming back. He didn't come back in (from the summer) in the same type of form and never worked as well this year - especially when he won here last year; we haven't seen him in that type of form since.
"Hopefully the better ground will make the difference and the way he jumps, he has every chance of being as good over fences."
Paddy Power left Boston Bob unchanged at 11-2 for the RSA Chase at Cheltenham, while Boylesports cut him to 5-1 from 6s for the same race. Stan James went 4-1 (from 6s).
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