Uncle Junior Best by a Country Mile
Uncle Junior (left)
(Healy Racing Photos)
The 11-year-old (9/2), trained by Patrick's father Willie, was given a confident stalking ride in the 3m 7f contest and moved through the field before the final half mile of obstacles.
Despite a mistake at the sixth-last fence, he was able to master 11/4 favourite and long-time leader Balthazaar King before the turn for home and he was driven out for a comfortable success.
The Philip Hobbs-trained runner-up battled hard up the run-in but had to settle for second after mistakes at the final few obstacles, whilst John Halley's Outlaw Pete (12/1) ran well in third place.
Outsider Another Jewel (66/1) ran on best of the rest to finish fourth under Davy Russell.
The ex-Irish trained Dodging Bullets made all the running to land the Opus Energy Novices' Hurde (Registered As The Sharp Novices' Hurdle) at Cheltenham.