thurles 3rd Jan
Briar Hill pulls clear of his rivals
(Healy Racing Photos)
Willie Mullins' 10-year-old, third in last season's RSA Chase at Cheltenham, was sent off the 2-7 favourite and hit the front after the fifth-last following two errors from long-time leader Odonimee.
Ruby Walsh made the best of his way home, but Paul Carberry always had him in his sights on market rival Foildubh and after a duel all the way up the straight,p>Call The Police found just enough to prevail by half a length.
Mullins and Walsh were expected to follow up in the Devil's Bit Beginners Chase with 1-2 favourite Cadspeed, who was seeking compensation for a last-fence fall with the race in the bag at Clonmel last time.
But the 10-year-old proved a major disappointment, finding nothing when tackled in the straight and fading into third as Brian O'Connell swept past on Philip Fenton's Pineau De Re (8-1), who held Stony Grey Soil's charge by a head.
The champion trainer secured his double when highly regarded 1-5 favourite Briar Hill, with his son Patrick in the plate, cleared away in the final furlong to take the Holycross Flat Race by seven lengths.
The Eugene O'Sullivan-trained Rocknrollrambo (7-1), twice second in points last month, led three out and galloped on strongly under Paddy Kennedy to hold Mimi And Bow by three and a half lengths in the thurles.ie Maiden Hurdle.
Christy Roche's Stop The Clock (6-1) stepped forward from her Navan debut run to take the Cashel Mares Maiden Hurdle in the JP McManus colours, asserting between the final two flights for Alan Crowe and winning by three and a half lengths.
The Willie Mullins-trained Briar Hill pulled away stylishly in the closing stages to make a winning 'track debut' in the concluding bumper at Thurles.