Riviere D’etel ran her rivals into the ground with an impressive all-the-way win in the Grade 2 BetVictor Casino Novice Chase at Punchestown on Saturday.
Taking advantage of the weight allowances, the four-year-old filly romped home 21 lengths clear of the 8/11 favourite Cape Gentleman, who was conceding 18lb to the winner.
Denis O’Regan made his intentions clear from the start as he kicked Riviere D’etel (9/4) into the lead from flag fall. Cape Gentleman was always in second place, keeping tabs on the Gordon Elliott-trained leader.
When it looked as though Cape Gentleman would mount a serious challenge, Riviere D’etel pulled away to win in convincing fashion and back up her chasing debut success at Fairyhouse last month.
“I thought she was very good. She jumped well and Denis gave her a good ride, she’s a nice mare,” said Elliott.
“We said we’d let her stride along and use all the allowances. She might have won with 10lb more, whether she would have won with 18lb more I don’t know, but she won very well.
“There is a mares’ race in Cork in a few weeks (Grade 2 Lombardstown Chase on December 5th) and there is also a novice chase in Navan (December 18th).
“I wouldn’t rule anything out with her and we’ll keep all our options open.”
Elliott went on to saddle two more winners on the card, Top Bandit winning the novice hurdle and Minella Crooner justifying favouritism in the bumper.
French Dynamite took full advantage of the absence of Bob Olinger to record an impressive success in the BetVictor Loyalty Club Beginners Chase.
Henry de Bromhead’s Bob Olinger was due to make his eagerly-awaited debut over fences, but the Cheltenham Festival winner was ruled out with a stone bruise.
That left French Dynamite as the even-money favourite in the same colours of Robcour, and the result was never in doubt from some way out.
Fourth in the Champion Stayers Hurdle at Punchestown, the Mouse Morris-trained six-year-old had faced a stiff task on his chasing bow in a Grade 3 won by Cape Gentleman at Cork last month – but showed the benefit of that experience had not been lost on him.
Morris said: “That was nice and he’s progressing nicely. He has a bit to learn yet, but he’s going the right way.
“He’s not in the Drinmore and won’t run there. I wouldn’t mind getting another run into him somewhere before Christmas.
“The programme is not very conducive to staying chasers. We’ll have a look at maybe travelling.
“He loves that ground and Darragh (O’Keeffe) said his jumping was awesome.”