Apt shows right approach
Apt Approach stamped his class on the Follow Fairyhouse On Twitter Rated Hurdle at Fairyhouse.
A Grade Two winner over fences last term, the 11-8 favourite found the highest level beyond him at the Punchestown Festival when last seen, but was switched back to timber for his comeback.
He moved up to lead in between the final two flights under Paul Townend and although Prince Rudi went in pursuit, Apt Approach was always holding him and had a length to spare at the line.
Trainer Willie Mullins said: "He was suited by conditions. I think he has only had two runs over hurdles and we will keep him over hurdles now if we can. We will try and find another conditions race for him next."
Patrick Mullins moved ever closer to the record number of wins by an amateur in a calendar year when his father's City Slicker (10-11 favourite) romped away with the bumper. He needs one more winner to equal the record.
Mullins snr said: "He disappointed at Naas, but he just wasn't ready for it and the run put him right. He looked to have a nice turn of foot there and he will go for a winners' bumper now. That is my first winner for John Magnier."
Robertstown Rover (11-1) had to contest the New Years Day 2013 At Fairyhouse Handicap Chase from out of the handicap, but that proved no barrier to success as she inflicted a 12-length defeat on Lascalahall in the hands of in-form jockey Mark Enright.
Trainer Kevin McDonagh said: "She jumped well and she could go to Thurles next Sunday for a three-mile handicap chase."
Tim Carroll delivered a well-timed challenge to take the Fairyhouse Membership 2013 Handicap Hurdle on the Pat Hughes-trained Speed Dial (4-1 favourite).