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Meade thrilled with Realt show

Realt Dubh made up for an unfortunate exit at Galway to claim top honours in the Craddockstown Novice Chase at Punchestown.

The absence of Noble Prince with a stone bruise was a big blow to the Grade Two event, but connections of the winner were not complaining as the former decent novice hurdler made it two wins from three starts over the bigger obstacles.

Sent off the 4-7 favourite, Noel Meade's six-year-old had to work pretty hard after hitting the front three out and stayed on strongly to hold Gates Of Rome by six lengths.

The trainer said: "Davy (Condon) said he'd be better over two and a half miles and he would delay his challenge and come from behind. When he got to the front he was all over the place.

"The Drinmore is the plan now, all being well. You hate to say any horse is a great jumper, but he's very good in close or going long. He's a very nice horse."

Meade and Condon doubled up immediately as Thegreatjohnbrowne (11-8 favourite) put up an impressive front-running performance in the Florida Pearl Novice Chase.

Winning for the second time in as many starts over fences, the six-year-old was not at all stretched in beating Tharawaat by seven lengths, having had everything hard at work from three out in the Grade Three event.

Meade said: "Tim Carroll did all the schooling on him and from day one he's been brilliant. He just can't wait to get to the next one (fence). Davy said he has never sat on a novice like him.

"Last year he had a little wind op - he just had a blockage. We always thought he was a good horse, but he was pulled up twice.

"The plan is the Drinmore along with the other lad (Realt Dubh), unfortunately that's the way it goes. Hopefully the two of them stay right. They both want a trip."

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