Hotelier off mark in opener
Mister Hotelier and Robbie Power
The 5/1 shot (from 6/1) had been runner-up in three bumpers but made no mistake this time as he opened his account.
Colm Murphy's charge tracked the leaders before taking closer order after the third last.
Robbie Power sent his mount to the front, from Akatara, at the second last and he stuck on well in the closing stages.
5/4 favourite Sarabad challenged on the inner two out but was untidy there and despite trying hard to chase down the favourite from the last had to settle for second, beaten a length-and-three-quarters.
The winner had run once over hurdles previously in November 2011 before his run of placed efforts in bumpers. He had disappointed, however, on his most recent start last November.
“He disappointed in his bumper the last day but he probably wasn't quite right afterwards,” said Murphy.
“He's going the right way and was entitled to do that on his bumper form. We'll see what mark he gets now.
“He's been schooling well and jumped well there today. Hopefully on nicer ground he might improve a bit as well.”
(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)
There are 12 Irish-trained possibles among the total of 40 entries unveiled today for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.