The Tony Martin trained Anibale Fly (14/1) showed his true colours when whizzing clear in the closing stages to run out a comfortable winner of the €200,000 Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown on Wednesday afternoon.
The JP McManus owned horse has been running at a high level in novice company last season, including chasing home the well touted Disko in a Grade One at Punchestown.
He had been well beaten in two starts over shorter trips this season but stepping back up to three miles he came back to his very best to land this lucrative prize.
Jockey Donagh Meyler was always prominent throughout the contest on the 14/1 shot and he hit the front turning for home and was never really in any serious doubt of being caught.
“It couldn’t have worked out better, with our own man riding him and he gave him an excellent ride. He jumped from fence to fence. I was just hoping he wouldn’t get there too early and luckily enough he didn’t,” insisted Martin.
“He wants a proper trip. He’s an old fashioned staying horse and he jumped and galloped.
“This is what you get up every day for, to have days like this. It doesn’t happen too often but when it does it’s great.
“Bad old mornings, horses going bad, things going bad and the job going bad. When you get a boost it rejuvenates the whole lot.
“He’s always been a very good horse but just luck didn’t go his way. He was favourite for the Feltham last year, the race Might Bite ran in. I don’t know what happened then whether it was ground or trip or whatever.
“In the race today he jumped out and travelled and was always in there with a good squeak. I was always happy watching it.
“There was no stage where I was saying ‘we’re in trouble’, fortunately enough, and it all went right.
“He won well for a competitive handicap. He’s after going through (the handicap) roof there now and could be anything.