Realt lands Arkle thriller
Realt Dubh just edged out Noble Prince in a tremendous finish to the Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown.
There was nothing between the two from the final fence in the Grade One contest, but it was the Noel Meade-trained Realt Dubh (5-2 favourite), ridden by Paul Carberry, who was a short head to the good at the line.
Flat Out unseated his rider Emmet Mullins after making a bad mistake at the second-last, just after joining long-time leader Mr Cracker at the head of affairs.
Realt Dubh had beaten his rival by five lengths over the course and distance last month, but the verdict could have gone either way this time.
Carberry said: "It was a very good performance. He has plenty of ability and his jumping was very good.
"I wasn't really headed, but he (Noble Prince) was close to us and I thought we might get beat, but he dug deep and gave a bit more."
Meade added: "He jumped brilliantly and a strong-run two miles seems to suit. He's really tough and stuck his head out.
"He did a nice bit of work on Tuesday over a mile and a half, and he actually worked a lot better than he did before Christmas.
"He'll go for the Arkle at Cheltenham now and, looking further down the line, the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse is another probable target."