Pat Flynn has his eyes on Grade One glory for Louisville Lip after he made a winning debut over obstacles in the WT O'Grady Memorial Hurdle at Thurles yesterday.
The 20-1 chance looked to have been set a stiff task with smart Flat performers Maxim Gorky and Table Mountain in the line-up, but Louisville Lip proved much too strong.
Always travelling strongly for David Casey, the four-year-old quickened to the lead heading towards the final flight and came home two and a half lengths clear of favourite Maxim Gorky, with Table Mountain only eighth.
“I rate this horse very highly — I really love him,” enthused Flynn.
“He schooled well, but you never know until they get to the track to run over hurdles.
“He'll go for the Grade One (Spring Juvenile Hurdle) at Leopardstown on Hennessy day (February 6).”
Louisville Lip is quoted at 40-1 to land a knockout blow in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Follow The Plan sprang a surprise when striking late in the Matty Ryan Memorial Kinloch Brae Chase.
Oliver McKiernan's charge was sent off at 25-1, having not found the winner's enclosure since December 2008, and he looked booked for minor honours at best as Patrick Mangan got to work.
But Mangan switched his mount to the far rail and he finished his race off strongly to deny Roberto Goldback by a neck.
Meanwhile, Luca Cumani's Presvis returned to his brilliant best as he triumphed in the Group Two Al Rashidiya under the floodlights at Meydan last night.