Bleu Et Rouge produced a tremendous turn of foot to give Willie Mullins yet another winner in the Ballymaloe Foods Beginners Chase at Leopardstown.
A Grade One winner over hurdles last season, the JP McManus-owned five-year-old was making his seasonal debut as well as his first start over fences.
Several sloppy leaps left him adrift of the front five turning into the straight and Barry Geraghty briefly appeared to have accepted his fate.
However, his mount really picked up the bit and closed the gap in no time. He still had plenty to do at the last as Gangster, formerly trained by Mullins and now with Henry de Bromhead, jumped to the front.
Bleu Et Rouge quickened smartly, though, and won going away by three-quarters of a length, with Don’t Touch It third.
“He jumps well at home but he didn’t bring that to the track,” said Mullins.
“I think he got a fright at the first and lost his confidence. He needs a bit more schooling.
“He must have a huge engine to win and I thought he had no chance after the second-last.
“I think two miles is fine for him but he’ll get more time to jump over a longer trip.”