Last Updated: 02/02/19 1:23pm
Commander Of Fleet relished the step up in trip and fended off Rhinestone to win the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors 50,000 Cheltenham Bonus For Stable Staff Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown.
Dropped down to two miles last time out for the Royal Bond, Gordon Elliott’s charge finished last of the four runners.
However, with six furlongs further to travel, and with the last flight omitted because of low sun, he travelled well in the hands of Jack Kennedy.
Turning into the straight, Willie Mullins’ Dorrells Pierji was in front with Rhinestone in between him and the eventual winner.
As Mullins’ runner dropped away, the other two served up a real treat but it was the Gigginstown-owned runner, who drifted out to 13-2, who prevailed by half a length.
Mullins’ Relegate, the Champion Bumper winner, was backed into 4-1 favourite and and one stage looked like tailing off under Ruby Walsh before she stayed on strongly to finish just out of the places.
The winner was cut to 12/1 for both the Ballymore and Albert Bartlett by Sky Bet.