Henry de Bromhead’s nine-year-old had been well beaten in two previous outings this season, both at Fairyhouse, but a return to Aintree conjured a return to form as he finished strongly to deny the bold-jumping Douglas Talking by a length and a half.
De Bromhead said: “We took him to Cheltenham for the Festival but the ground had gone for him, so we took him home without running.
“He ran really well in this race last year. In fairness the Mulryans who own him have been very patient. Cheltenham was frustrating, but he must have better ground as it makes such a difference to him.
“He loves a battle, he’s tough as teak and we’ve always felt he’s better left-handed so I’d probably say no to Punchestown. We’ll enjoy today and make a plan. We have a decent record in this race.”