Davy Russell was denied a winning send-off in his last ride as number one jockey for Gigginstown House Stud when Roi Du Mee was collared by Marito at Tramore.
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Ireland's champion jump jockey, who was informed on Tuesday by Gigginstown boss Michael O'Leary that he would no longer be his first choice rider after this mount, had to settle for second place in the feature Holden Plant Rentals Chase.
Roi Du Mee made a gallant attempt to make all in the Listed contest he won 12 months ago, but had no answer to the late challenge of Willie Mullins' charge in the closing stages.
The 1/-8 joint-favourites had the race to themselves from two out and it was Marito, ridden by Paul Townend, who prevailed by three and a quarter lengths.
Mullins said: "It was a lovely tactical ride from Paul and the horse had the gears in what was a slowly-run race.
"I'm not sure where he'll go now as he's going to be hard to place.
"He might mix it between hurdles and fences and while he handles any ground, I wouldn't be keen to run him on very fast ground as he had an injury when he was younger."
Sky Bet gave Marito a 12/1 quote for the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Russell ended the day on a winning note when guiding That's The Dream (4/1 favourite) to a 10-length victory in the Tom Carroll Memorial Handicap Chase for trainer Robert Tyner.
Tyner said: "Davy rode plenty of winners for me in his youth and I have no doubt he'll bounce back as he's a brilliant jockey."
He added of the winner: "He was always in control and he'll go for something similar next."