The Peter Casey trained Flemenstar ran out a ready winner of the Irish Form Book Fortria Chase.
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The seven-year-old was one of Ireland's leading novices last season and the Irish Arkle winner proved imperious in his graduation into all-age company in the Grade 2 prize.
Allowed to bowl along at the head of affairs by Andrew Lynch, the seven-year-old never put a foot wrong and was he drew comprehensively clear on the run to the line.
The veteran, Big Zeb, who won this race last season, was attempting to give 3lb away to his younger rival and though he and Foildubh began to close up on the winner with three fences to take, neither were able to land a blow on the 10/11 favourite.
Realt Dubh was the disappointment of the race. Noel Meade's charge made a serious mistake at the fifth fence and Paul Carberry never looked happy from thereon in.
Casey had insisted all week his pride and joy was not fully wound up for his comeback run and he remained of that opinion after the event.
The trainer said: "When he is fit he'll be a good one! He will go for the John Durkan now at Punchestown (December 9).
"He has got stronger since last year but he was only 80% fit today. He got beat here the last two years but I slept well last night, I wasn't worried about him.
"Andrew knows him well. There is no use in telling him what to do.
"After he goes over two and a half in the Durkan we will think about running him over three miles. He should get three miles on breeding."
Flemenstar is quoted at 7/1 with Sky Bet for the Cheltenham Gold Cup and 5/1 for the Ryanair Chase.