Bob Olinger showed some of his old class when battling to victory in a thrilling Grade 2 Railway Bar Lismullen Hurdle at Navan.
Last year's winner Home By The Lee led over this 2m4f trip, but came under pressure after the second-last as smooth-travelling Zanahiyr took over. However, Bob Olinger moved menacingly well in third and came with his challenge between horses before the last.
Zanahiyr appeared to be getting the better of him on the run-in, but Rachael Blackmore conjured more from the talented eight-year-old gelding who thrust home to win by a length at 15/8 from the 5/4 favourite.
Henry de Bromhead said: “I'm delighted. You know where we hold him, he's one of the best horses I've ever trained.
“Last year was tough, but it's lovely to see him back. He was brilliant and Rachael was super on him, she gave him a brilliant ride.
“There are a lot of people to thank but I have to mention Robert Power and Brian (Acheson).
“We stopped with him last January and Robbie has done a lot of work with him during the summer and into this season.
“He came down to us looking amazing. There are a lot of people to thank, the team at home, but Robbie stands out for all the work he's done with him.
“We better ask him what he was doing and start doing it with all of them!
“He stayed at it really well. The way he burst through and then I thought 'oh no it's the same as last year when Zanahiyr came back at him'.
“I thought we were in trouble there, obviously Zanahiyr picked up and we were a bit slow at the last.
“It was lovely to see, he's a real good horse and it's nice to see him hopefully starting to come back.
“It was a tough race, his first run since January.”
When asked about plans he added:- “I don't know, we'll enjoy today. We've no plans and I wouldn't like to say anything yet. Today was the day, we needed to see him back first.
“If you saw him at home I don't think any trip is a problem when he's right, he has so much pace. At least we can think about the next step now.
“Nothing is set in stone (regarding hurdling or chasing). I don't really want to say anything until we've all debriefed. A lot of work went into today and it's just lovely to see him back.”