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Loosen cuts to the chase in fine style

Loosen My Load, a Grade Two winner over hurdles at Cheltenham last season, made a striking fencing debut at Punchestown.

Henry de Bromhead's six-year-old also finished fifth at this course in the Champion Novice Hurdle, and looks to have a bright future in his new career.

The 7/4 favourite refused to give an inch to the game Trimbellina and replaced that rival at the head of affairs with a crisp leap at the last.

Andrew Lynch's mount then kept on in determined fashion to take the two-and-a-half-mile Motivate Challenge in Association with The Evening Hearld Beginners Steeplechase by three-and-a-half lengths.

De Bromhead won this race 12 months ago with subsequent Arkle hero Sizing Europe.

"He was good there, I'm delighted with him," said the Co Waterford handler.

"He jumped great and he's always looked like a chaser.

"He's got off to a nice start and Andrew gave him a brilliant ride and got him jumping well -- he didn't have to be hard on him, which was good.

"It looked to be a good enough race, they went a proper gallop.

"I'd imagine we'll put him away until the autumn now, but we'll have to discuss it with the owners."

David Casey's never-say-die attitude was showcased aboard Schelm, who came from another parish to land the www.motivatechallenge.com Chase.

Seemingly out of contention some way from home, Kahuna and In Compliance appeared to have the race between them.

Ronald O'Leary's 14/1 chance was still third after the second-last, but discovered a fifth gear on the run-in to defeat long-time leader Kahuna by half a length.

In Compliance was third, while 2/1 favourite Coolcashin was pulled up.

O'Leary said: "That was just the job. He has been a great servant for the last couple of years and he loves this fast ground."