ORNUA got his season back on track with a dominant front-running display in the Grade 1 Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase at Aintree.
Henry de Bromhead’s challenger beat and was beaten by Friday’s Topham Chase winner Cadmium at Roscommon and Punchestown respectively last October, before chasing home Dynamite Dollars in the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown.
He was in front when falling at the sixth fence in the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham last month and was the 3/1 joint-favourite to bounce back along with Arkle runner-up and fellow Irish challenger Us And Them.
Riding Ornua for the first time over fences, Davy Russell sent his mount straight to the lead and some slick jumping kept the pressure on his rivals in behind.
Us And Them tracked him into the straight and was gradually closing the gap after the final fence, but Ornua had enough in reserve to prevail by a length and three-quarters.