L'Ami leads Bolger 1-2
Enda Bolger continued his domination of the cross-country arena as L'Ami led home a 1-2 for the stable in the New Banks Course Risk Of Thunder Chase at Punchestown on Saturday.
Last year's winner was sent off the 30-100 market leader but after taking the lead off Lord Nellerie at halfway, he had to survive a couple of minor scares before holding the challenge of King Johns Castle by a length and a half.
His trainer said: "L'Ami will now run at Cheltenham in December. I'd say JT (McNamara) got a bit of a shock to have to work so hard to win today, though."
He added of one-time Grand National runner-up King Johns Castle: "He can go down the hunter chase route now and there is also a banks race for him back here in February too."
Zaidpour (8-11) lived up to his tall reputation with a commanding performance in the Punchestown Annual Membership Maiden Hurdle.
Willie Mullins' French import, a half-brother to high-class hurdler Zaynar, made no mistake in defeating Katys Girl by an easy 12 lengths.
The trainer said: "He showed me today what he had been telling me at home!
"I would not be afraid to drop him back in trip as he has plenty of gears. We've plenty of time with him, but he may run in the Royal Bond Hurdle at Fairyhouse on November 28 next."
Shamiran (11-2) defied top-weight in the Tote Sports Lounge Novice Handicap Hurdle, while the Stars Of Tomorrow (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race went the way of 8-1 shot Exit To Anywhere.