Henry de Bromhead’s Full Time Score could be aimed at the Irish Grand National after triumphing in the Fairyhouse Easter Festival 16th-18th April Rated Chase.
The eight-year-old started as the 100-30 favourite under Rachael Blackmore and held off a challenge from Paul Nolan's Discorama in the late stages of the race to prevail by a length.
A return to Fairyhouse for the Irish National is now a possibility for the gelding, with De Bromhead noting his inclination to drift to the right during his races.
“He did it nicely and stayed at it well which was nice to see,” said De Bromhead.
“He’s a fine stamp of a horse and is really coming to himself now. Chris [Jones, owner] has been really patient.
“He seems to have a tendency to want to go right so the first thing on my mind was possibly the Irish National back here.
“It’s lovely to see him stay so well there and who knows after that.”
While Nolan had to settle for second in the feature with Discorama he was celebrating when HMS Seahorse got off the mark over obstacles by taking the maiden hurdle as the 8-11 favourite.
The four-year-old colt was bred by Coolmore and trained on the Flat by Aidan O’Brien before changing hands last year and placing twice in two hot Punchestown contests.
“He has a lovely attitude for a fella that is still a colt,” Nolan said. “Hopefully he’ll be an ideal weight in the Boodles [at Cheltenham] and he’ll have a chance in that.
“He might improve on a bit better ground being by Galileo. Bryan [Cooper, jockey] said he’s learning all the time and he seems to be progressing.”
The Honeysuckle silks were in the winner's enclosure courtesy of Willie Mullins's Heia, who was victorious in the first division of the mares' maiden hurdle under Paul Townend.
The five-year-old is a French bumper winner and finished fourth on her hurdles debut, following that effort up with five-length success as the 11-10 favourite.
“That was nice coming back in trip. I think her next race will be the mares’ novice at Cheltenham,” said Mullins.
“I’m hoping she’ll improve the whole way through. That’s her trip and I think better ground will suit her as well.”
Dolcita, winner of the opening mares beginners’ chase as evens favourite, may also be heading in the direction of the Cheltenham Festival, with Mullins adding: “Paul [Townend] was very happy with her jumping. She has been very good to jump from day one.
“She may go for the mares’ chase at Cheltenham but that would be a big step up from a beginners’ race.
“We’ll look at other options as well and discuss it with connections.”
Mullins and Townend were also on the mark with Tempo Chapter Two (5-2) in the rated novice hurdle.