Riches on road to better things
Road To Riches survived a late blunder to justify odds-on favouritism in the Cork Stayers Novice Hurdle.
The Noel Meade-trained five-year-old was given a confident ride by Paul Carberry and was last of the seven runners at halfway, but the 2-5 market leader took closer order three out and jumped upsides Dushrembrandt at the second-last.
Going to the final flight on the bridle, Carberry's mount ploughed through it, but the rider was able recover his poise as his rival also made an error, and in the end he cantered over the line to claim Grade Three honours.
Meade said: "Paul said he was a bit free early on and when he dropped him back he became almost too relaxed. It was a bit uncharacteristic to see him making a mistake. He got lit up beforehand when he was battling him.
"He did what we came here to do. He's a a chaser in the making for next season and now we know he stays three miles. The Dorans Pride Hurdle at Limerick might be a possibility. There's a race in Naas in January as well."
An incident-packed Irish Stallion Farms EBF Lombardstown Mares Novice Chase went the way of Great Oak.
Long odds-on favourite Tarla took it up five out under Ruby Walsh but spectacularly crashed out at the last, as did her closest pursuer Cnoc Seoda, who was a couple of lengths down at the time.
All that left Great Oak (14-1) in splendid isolation to claim the Grade Three prize, with Our Girl Lucy second.
Winning trainer John Nicholson said: "They are there to be jumped. I would have been happy with third, but Christmas came early. I didn't enter her over Christmas as there aren't a lot of races for her. Today was the plan."