Don Cossack had to dig deep to deny Carlingford Lough in the Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse.
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The 13/8 favourite looked in trouble between the penultimate and final flight as Carlingford Lough and Road To Riches looked to have the race between them.
A P McCoy rousted Carlingford Lough to the front jumping the last but Don Cossack was nothing if not game and jockey Davy Russell galvanised one last effort to collar the leader 50 yards from home and go on to record a length and three-quarter victory.
Trainer Gordon Elliott was pleased with the six-year-old but felt he was feeling the effects of a tough race at Punchestown just two weeks ago.
Elliott said: "I'm delighted he's won. Punchestown knocked the edge off him. He struggled a bit from five out (today).
"He's a smashing big horse. I've been very lucky Gigginstown have given me a lot of nice horses to train, so it's great to win a Grade One for them.
"He battled and he jumped great, so we're happy with him. He might not have looked the best of battlers before, but he battled today.
"He won't go anywhere over Christmas. He might go to Leopardstown at the end of January.
"I'm not sure he's an out and out three-miler myself."
Russell was also of the opinion that the horse was feeling the effects of his Punchestown exertions.
"He's done well to come back from that run at Punchestown as it was a tough race," said the jockey.
"He's a big, well-built horse and he's only just coming to himself now. He jumps fences well though.
"He didn't achieve a lot over hurdles but we knew the ability was there as he was good in bumpers. There's obviously a lot of Grade One races to win in Ireland first so we'll see how he fares in those before deciding about Cheltenham."
"He's never been soft, but he might have been a bit childish. Hopefully this will make a man of him."
Sky Bet have cut Don Cossack to 12/1 (from 14/1) for the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and their spokesman Michael Shinners thinks that he'll be tough to beat wherever he turns up.
"Don Cossack showed a great attitude when winning the Drinmore at Fairyhouse and that will stand him in good stead in whichever race he runs in at the Festival."