PHILIP FENTON, currently putting the finishing touches to Dunguib's Champion Hurdle preparations, has another fine young prospect on his hands in Last Instalment.
The six-year-old, a point-to-point winner which won the valuable Fairyhouse bumper last Easter, had no trouble opening his account over timber in the Course Signage At Navan Maiden Hurdle yesterday.
Owned by the all-conquering Gigginstown House Stud, the 11/10 favourite travelled like much the best horse throughout and pulled clear to beat Vics Canvas by two and a half lengths.
"Last Instalment promised to be a nice horse from well back," said Fenton. "I thought I'd have had him out before Christmas but he didn't have the best of preparations.
"He should make an exciting chaser and will have only a couple more runs over hurdles. The Fairyhouse Festival could be a later option for him. He is effective on nice ground and is a beautifully actioned horse."
Davy Russell was the man on board and he scored earlier on Tony Martin's Gift Of Dgab, also in the Gigginstown silks. The seven-year-old ended a frustrating run of four seconds in justifying 6/4 favouritism in a close finish from Popcorn and He's Our Man.
"If ever a horse deserved it, it was him today," said Martin. "I think he may be better on better ground, but I don't think he'd like summer ground."
Gordon Elliott's newcomer Final Victory cruised to an 11-length win under Paul Carberry in the Navan Maiden Hurdle.