Chris’s Dream put himself in line for a trip to the Cheltenham Festival as he galloped his opponents into submission to secure Grade Three honours in the Surehaul Mercedes-Benz Novice Hurdle at Clonmel.
The six-year-old won a Limerick maiden over two miles and three furlongs in December for Eugene O’Sullivan, since when he has been snapped up for €200,000 to join the Henry de Bromhead team.
It looks money well spent, too, as Mark Walsh blazed a trail in the three-mile contest, with Chris's Dream already 10 or 12 lengths clear heading out on to the final circuit.
With his rivals toiling, the 4-1 chance went further clear and strolled across the line with an official 64 lengths in hand of rank outsider Carrigeen Acebo, who gained some valuable black type in second.
RaceBets cut De Bromhead's charge to 20-1 from 33-1 for the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle and the trainer said: "He stayed well and he [Walsh] said he was just hacking away there. He seemed to get through it [ground] very well, not a bother on him.
“He’s in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham and is entitled to go after that performance and obviously he stays well. He is a nice, light-moving horse and I think we’ll give it a go.
“Mark had won the maiden hurdle on him and we asked him for his opinion and he recommended the horse and Eugene did as well. It goes without saying, but he is a chaser in the making.”