Cause Of Causes (left) and Midnight Game begin to slug it out at Navan
©Healy Racing Photos
The brilliantly progressive Cause Of Causes followed up his big Ascot success from just over three weeks ago when edging out Midnight Game by a short head for the opening Follow Navan On Facebook Hurdle.
A mistake three out threatened to scupper Cause Of Causes chance but Davy Condon had him tackling the sweet-travelling Midnight Game at the last. The other runner, Hisaabaat was struggling when an error at the penultimate flight ended his hopes.
The victorious Gordon Elliott-trained son of Dynaformer stayed on resolutely up the run-in to be in front where it matters most.
Elliott said: "It was a bit of a cat and mouse race and a better pace would have suited.
"He's an honest horse. He'll go now for the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on February 9th.
"We'll look for something in Cheltenham after that. A faster gallop would have suited him as he'd have something to race at."
Barry Orr of the Timeform Betfair Racing Club Ltd relayed an interesting fact about their charge afterwards, saying: "He's a half-brother to the Derby winner, Kris Kin." (AM & EM)