Un Atout and Davy Russell pop the last
©Healy Racing Photos
By Gary Carson
Un Atout wasn't stretched as he made a winning debut over timber in the opening Kells Maiden Hurdle at Navan.
Davy Russell made all on the French-bred and didn't have to ask him too many questions to post a four-and-three-quarter length victory over Fickle Fortune.
The Willie Mullins-trained four-year-old was sent off the well-backed 1/2 favourite (from 4/6) and punters never had an anxious moment.
He had his rivals at work after the third last and popped the last two to cruise home on the bridle.
The winner was maintaining his unbeaten record having made an impressive debut in a bumper at Naas back in January.
"We knew he would probably have to make the running but he was brave in front to go and make it first time over hurdles," said Mullins
"He jumped like a chaser early on but his jumping flattened out as he sped up.
"He's probably more of a stayer and he's a chaser for the future.
"We'll see how he comes out of this and we'll definately have a look at Christmas. He'll be entered in all the top novice races."
<Un Atout was the first of six horses on the card that look set to go off at short prices today.
Stan James cut the winner from 25/1 to 20/1 for the Neptune Hurdle at Cheltenham and from 25/1 to 16/1 for the Supreme Novices.
(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)