Some Plan put in a clean round of jumping and ran out an impressive winner, as American Tom’s Cheltenham credentials crashed in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Novice Chase at Naas.
Just four went to post for this two mile contest, with American Tom leading over the first from Some Plan.
As the field settled down and headed out with a circuit to race, American Tom held a narrow lead from Some Plan and Road To Respect, with Stone Hard biding his time not far behind these.
Some Plan and David Mullins pressed on from Road To Respect and Stone Hard as American Tom dropped away tamely, as if something was amiss and he then took a crashing fall.
Meanwhile, Some Plan began the turn for home with a length lead over the Gigginstown pair Road To Respect and Stone Hard, with both being ridden along.
At the second last fence, Some Plan landed clear of Road To Respect who continued to chase hard, while Stone Hard had given up the ghost.
At the last Some Plan landed in front but had to be kept up to his work by Mullins, passing the post four lengths ahead of Road To Respect, with Stone Hard coming home in his own time.
The Henry De Bromhead trained 9 year old had been an unlucky faller at Cheltenham last time, having impressed at Punchestown the time before.
American Tom was struggling at the time of his fall and it will be back to the drawing board for the Willie Mullins chaser.
“My lad travelled well the whole way. He ran into the first a bit, he’s so accurate and so quick he forgets to get enough height sometimes,” said Mullins of the winner.
“When he puts it all together he could be a Cheltenham horse. I definitely thought I had another gear the last day. I’d say the winner, Le Prezien, did as well, but I was going every bit as well as him and I’d say I had plenty down the hill.
“That was another day, though, and he’s done it well today. You can’t fault him and he deserves it.
“He’s still a big baby for an old horse and when he does start to learn, and put his best foot forward over fences, he’ll take a fair bit of beating over two miles.”