Prince crowned Jewson king
Noble Prince gave Tony McCoy his first winner at this year's Festival, and his 200th of the season, by taking the opening Jewson Novices' Chase on day three at Cheltenham.
Wishfull Thinking made a bold bid to make all of the running for the in-form Philip Hobbs team, but McCoy never had him too far off his radar.
Noble Prince, trained by Paul Nolan, jumped the last better than his main rival and the 4-1 shot pulled away on the run-in to score by four lengths, with Loosen My Load another five lengths away in third, to give Ireland a 10th winner of the meeting.
McCoy said: "It's much easier riding horses that are going well than those that are not. I haven't ridden many horses for the Nolans, but Dave Roberts (agent) got me this.
"His form was pretty good behind Realt Dubh in the (Irish) Arkle and the better ground helped him today, being by Montjeu. I'd forgotten I only needed one more for my 200th winner of the season."
Nolan added: "This is one of the best days of my life. I'm delighted for the owner and I'm grateful he brought the horse to me.
"AP (McCoy) was great on him - he crept round and when we wanted a big jump at the last we got one. McCoy had to keep squeezing him but he just kept finding. He was foot-perfect and although he got shuffled back a bit he finished well up the hill.
"You don't wish horses to make mistakes, but when they are upsides like that at the last I was quite pleased when the other horse (Wishfull Thinking) didn't jump it cleanly.
"I thought a couple of times he was flat to the boards and I was thinking if he misses one fence he's going to be in trouble. But he was brilliant and McCoy was brilliant on him. I wasn't even confident going to the last, I just desperately wanted the line to come.
"Punchestown would definitely be the plan now."