In Compliance set for National after Thurles success
In Compliance showed he is no back number with an excellent front-running display in the Cashel Chase at Thurles yesterday.
The 11-year-old was considered a realistic Cheltenham Gold Cup contender a few years ago, but his career has been plagued by injury.
Sporting blinkers for the first time, the 13/2 chance jumped boldly for Paddy Flood and held a big lead heading down the back straight.
Odds-on favourite Quiscover Fontaine made inroads and looked a major danger turning for home, but his crashing fall at the second-last left In Compliance clear.
The Dessie Hughes inmate was spring-heeled at the final obstacle and stayed on all the way to the line to score by 18 lengths from Rock Street.
"He was not really right last year, and it was hard to keep weight on him," said Hughes.
"He seems to be back to himself, and we put the blinkers on today to sharpen him up.
"He jumped around Aintree last year in the Topham and will go for the National now."
Hidden Cyclone (13/8) continued his fine campaign with victory in the Michael Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle.
John Hanlon's six-year-old had already struck twice in Graded company this season and was always travelling kindly in the hands of Andrew McNamara.
He looked like running away with the contest on the turn for home, but Pineau De Re proved a persistent challenger in the straight. The two of them approached the final flight together and it was Hidden Cyclone which finished the stronger to score by two and a half lengths.
"Andrew felt he didn't like the track, and that they didn't go fast enough," said Hanlon.
"I said beforehand this would be it for the season, but I'll have to discuss plans again with the owners as I'd like to get his jumping better.
"It's possible he could go to Navan for a novice next month."