Martio (pink) just held Mount Benbulben with Jenari and Tillahow left behind
There was an exciting conclusion to the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Novice Chase at Naas as the Ruby Walsh-ridden odds-on favourite Marito justified his position in the market, but only just.
Bred in Germany, the victor put in a good round of fencing apart from being slow at the fourth last.
Jumping was more of an effort for Mount Benbulben but he had every chance of defeating the 'jolly' from before the last and Jenari was there with his chance too.
However it developed into a two horse war on the run-in and at the line Marito just held Mount Benbulben by a head.
Willie Mullins trains Marito for Mrs Susannah Ricci and he said: "He put in a good round of jumping, bar four out, where he showed he was able to fiddle one.
"He's in the Arkle (Sunday January 27th Leopardstown) - I don't know if that's too soon for him but we'll have a look at it.
"He could go two and a half miles – I think he'll stay no problem.
"It could be the Arkle next or the Moriarty."
Beeverstown unseated rider at the start here and Paddy Power refunded all bets on him.
Stan James go 40/1 Marito for the Arkle at Cheltenham. (GC & EM)