Alpha beats old rival
Danny Mullins completed a hat-trick of winners at Cork aboard the Mouse Morris-trained Alpha Des Obeaux in the Paddy Power Track My Bet European Breeders Fund Novice Chase.
Alpha Des Obeaux finished a distant second to Thistlecrack in the World Hurdle
Last season's World Hurdle runner-up disappointed on his chasing debut at Tipperary at the start of last month, but bounced back with victory at Thurles and was the 9/10 favourite to follow up in this Grade Three contest, with Tipperary winner Westerner Lady in opposition once more.
The big two quickly opened up a lead over the only other runner Thanks For Tea.
Westerner Lady made a serious mistake early on, handing the initiative to Alpha Des Obeaux, and he took full advantage to add to a fine day for Mullins, who had earlier ridden Blood Crazed Tiger and Bilko to victory, both for Gordon Elliott.
The chasing pair closed the gap in the home straight, but Alpha Des Obeaux was not for catching and was ultimately well on top as he passed the post three and a quarter lengths to the good.
Westerner Lady and Ruby Walsh only just beat the patiently ridden Thanks For Tea to the runner-up spot.
Walsh was stood down for the remainder of the card after jarring his back.
Alpha Des Obeaux is set for another step up in grade.
Morris said: "He jumped super and just idled in front, but the operation was a success and the patient lived!
"He'll be in the Drinmore and the two-and-three-quarter-mile Grade Two Florida Pearl at Punchestown.
"Hopefully he'll be OK in the morning."