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Mantles Prince made a well-earned recovery from a skin allergy to make a mockery of the handicapper's work in the £100,000 Ladbroke Hurdle at Leopardstown today.

The 12-1 chance, carrying 12lb more than his official weight, was not seriously troubled to land one of the toughest handicap hurdles in the calendar.

Brought with smooth run by Fran Berry, he pulled clear in grand style in the final stages to defeat British raider Geos by six lengths.

It was a further three lengths back to the talented She's Our Mare in third place.

Mantles Prince was covered in spots after his victory in a handicap at Fairyhouse last Monday.

"I was pretty anxious when I saw all the spots but amazingly when we got him home that day the problem had completely cleared up," said trainer Pat Hughes.

"It's strange cause my other intended runner Quinze has the same allergy and it stayed with him and prevented him running in this race."

Hughes reckons Mantles Prince, bought for a bargain 13,000 guineas at the Newmarket sales, deserves an Oscar for toughness.

"I've never known one like him," he said. "He was fired on both forelegs last January and yet has recovered to win a race like this.

"At one stage he had to be lifted over his hurdles but now he's a grand jumper.

"I was concerned that he was so far out of the handicap today but not many of them in the field has great experience in handicaps and that's always important.

"I still thought he had a good chance but would have been really confident if he'd been carrying the correct weight."

Mantles Prince may now soon be trying his hand in top handicap company in Britain with the Imperial Cup and County Hurdle possible targets.

Geos, trying to give Britain only its third success in the Ladbroke, emerged with plenty of credit.

"I've no complaints - he's run really well, although even softer ground might have suited him better," said trainer Nicky Henderson.

The Tote Gold Trophy at Newbury next month is now on the agenda for Geos.

Britain's other runner Master Beveled was never able to strike a serious blow and finished out of the first six.

Buck Rogers staked his claim for a place in the Martell Grand National field in April with a doughty staying performance in the Pierse Leopardstown Handicap Chase.

He looked in trouble as Fiddlers Tune cruised alongside, apparently full of running, in the home straight.

But Buck Rogers dug deep for Ken Whelan and stayed on strongly to keep the challenger at bay.

"He was entered for the Grand National last year but had to miss the race in the end because of soreness. I hope he will be able to make it to Aintree this time," said trainer Victor Bowens.

Before that Buck Rogers will tackle the valuable Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup back at Leopardstown next month.