Dedigout enters Cheltenham frame with Punchestown rout
DEDIGOUT earned a 16/1 quote for the RSA at Cheltenham after making the perfect start to his career over fences at Punchestown.
Tony Martin's six-year-old suffered just one defeat from five starts over timber and was installed long odds-on favourite at 2/9 for his chasing bow.
Despite making his seasonal return, the Grade One-winning hurdler galloped his rivals into submission under Davy Russell.
Only the front-running Beeverstown was able to stick with him from a long way out, but Dedigout had his measure rounding the home turn.
Beeverstown's exertions soon took their toll as he fell in the straight, but Dedigout galloped on remorselessly in the heavy ground to win by 34 lengths.
"Hopefully Dedigout goes the right way now and we'll see how he comes out of this," said Martin. "He had experience from point-to-pointing. It went well and I was happy with his jumping.
"We'll take it one step at a time with him. We'll look for something in three or four weeks' time, and the Drinmore Chase looks the obvious one for him, or we could go for a winners of one."
Banjaxed Girl, trained by Lady Fowler, finally broke her duck over fences when getting the better of Oscars Business by three lengths in the mares' novice chase, while Tom Nagle sent out a very promising winner of the maiden hurdle.
The Noel Meade-trained bumper winner Heck Thomas started favourite but Nagle's Just A Par -- a Loughrea point-to-point winner -- took the lead in the straight and bounded seven lengths clear.
The father and son team of Niall 'Boots' and 'Slippers' Madden won the handicap chase for JP McManus with Highdownhill, and Julie Weston's Vic Chic took the handicap hurdle under Martin Ferris.