Dessie Hughes has set his sights on following up Our Conor's success at last year's Cheltenham Festival with another JCB Triumph Hurdle win with Guitar Pete after his smooth victory in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown.
Much-vaunted pair Ivan Grozny and Plinth went into the race as favourites to boost their Festival claims but Guitar Pete was a more proven and battle-hardened performer over obstacles and made his experience count to gain a convincing win.
After showing little promise on the Flat, the four-year-old has been a revelation at the jumping game, now securing four victories and two runner-up placings from six outings under National Hunt rules and he is 10/1 for the Festival event.
"He will go for the Triumph now, he's proved his worth," commented Hughes.
"He's a very honest horse who just gallops and gallops and loves running over this trip. I couldn't ask for more from him.
"There were some good horses in there and it was a true-run race. The ground was the only worrying thing, but it didn't seem to bother him. Our Conor may have had a bit more speed than him, but this lad jumps well and grinds it out. He's done everything right since Christmas."