Oscars proves class act
Oscars Well and Robert Power jumping the last
(Healy Racing Photos)
Jessica Harrington's charge suffered an early fall at Punchestown last time but was foot perfect today.
The 8/11 favourite was clear from the fifth last but the advantage was reduced as stable-mate Jenari gave chase in the straight.
He couldn't peg back the hotpot, however, who had plenty left in the tank. Cootamundra came through to take second before the last but could only get within seven lengths.
The dual Grade One winning hurdler had made an impressive start over fences at Punchestown in late October before crashing out when odds-on for a Grade 2 event there last month.
"He just took off and went some gallop down the back straight," said Harrington afterwards.
"He jumped great and we'll keep him to two miles as the faster they go the better he'll be.
"The main objective today was to get a clear round and we had hoped to get a lead.
"He'll go now for the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown on St Stephen's Day.
"Jenari is almost sure to need two-and-a-half miles."
Power added:- "That was perfect. He jumped from fence to fence. Maybe he was a bit close at the last but I didn't want to go for a big one and put him on the floor.
"I'm very very happy with him and down the back his jumping was brilliant.
"His schooling was so good at home and he was so good the first day that it was a big shock when he fell and the horse got a bigger shock than anyone.
"He never made a mistake at home and you have to put it down as one of those things. Any horse can fall."
The winner was cut to 7/1 from 10/1 for the Arkel Chase at Cheltenham by Stan James.
(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)
Roi Du Mee made the most of his lower mark over timber when taking the Proudstown Handicap Hurdle at Navan.