The Midnight Club jumped to the head of the Grand National market with a fine staying performance in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse yesterday.
The Grade Two contest has been a fine Aintree trial down the years, with The Midnight Club's former stable companion Hedgehunter notably winning this prize en route to glory in the Merseyside showpiece in 2005.
Sent off the 11/10 favourite after finishing second in the Thyestes Chase, The Midnight Club moved powerfully for Paul Townend and was bang in there heading to the final fence.
The strong-travelling Oscar Time looked a huge threat but failed to pick up as expected and The Midnight Club saw it out well to hold off stable companion Arbor Supreme by a length.
Eric McNamara's Little Green opened her account over obstacles with a determined success in the Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle.
The 13/2 chance, which had filled the runner-up spot on her latest appearance at Thurles, was produced to challenge at the final flight by Townend and went on to to record a two-length success.
There was drama in the Novice Hurdle as first-past-the-post Stephanie Kate (7/4 favourite) was relegated to second in favour of original runner-up Definite Class following interference going to the last.