EXCITING prospect The Tullow Tank made an impressive return from a lengthy lay-off at Fairyhouse where he recorded a smooth success on his first run over fences.
Partnered for the first time by Barry Connell's new retained rider Adrian Heskin, the Dessie Hughes-trained gelding turned in a flawless round of jumping, sitting on the heels of early leader Azorian before beginning to assert after jumping the third-last.
The 4/7 favourite stamped his authority on the contest running to the penultimate fence and Heskin just had to keep him up to his work to see off the useful Mala Beach, with Azorian in third as the leading trio outclassed the four other runners.
Heskin was more than satisfied with the horse's efforts and expects him to progress for the experience. "There wasn't much pace early and it suited to get a lead. When I wanted him, he was plenty brave enough," the jockey explained.
"All he'll do is improve, there was plenty there left to work with. . . he was very professional about it, so we'll just pick and choose his races from here."
The victory of the former classy novice hurdler completed a double for Hughes, who had earlier struck with well-backed 4/6 favourite Sheamus, which took the opening novice hurdle in convincing style.
Ruby Walsh's only mount of the day, the son of Definite Article quickly went to the front and while he was closed down four flights from home, his backers had few worries as he was still travelling well.
His main market rival Cillian's Return didn't jump well and it was left to winning point-to-pointer Annamatopoeia to chase home Sheamus, which breezed 13 lengths clear.
Rising star of the weigh-room Johnny Burke secured a superb 51/1 double which was initiated by the success of A Sizing Network for his boss Henry de Bromhead in the two-mile maiden hurdle.
The brace was completed in the handicap chase by the victory of John Robinson's Cool Warrior (12/1) which, as a 13-year-old, is only five years younger than his jockey.
Jessica Harrington sent out Sin Miedo (12/1) to land the closing novice chase in the hands of Mark Bolger.