Three Stars ridden by Ruby Walsh races clear of the last on the way to winning the Buck House Novice Chase
Three Stars produced an impressive display in the hands of Ruby Walsh to run out an authoritative winner of the Buck House Novice Chase at Punchestown.
Trainer Henry de Bromhead won successive renewals of this Grade Three prize with the legendary Sizing Europe (2009) and the talented Loosen My Load (2010) and Three Stars was 3/1 to follow suit after leaving a disappointing chasing debut at Tramore behind with victory at Listowel last month.
The six-year-old jumped neatly throughout the two-and-a-quarter-mile contest and moved strongly to the lead rounding the home turn.
De Bromhead's charge safely negotiated the remaining two fences and was well on top as he passed the post two and a quarter lengths to the good.
Ball D'Arc, runner-up to Three Stars at Listowel before unseating his rider at Fairyhouse last Saturday, came through to finish second again.
Referring to Walsh, De Bromhead said: "You forget how good that man is when you haven't used him for a while! He's just brilliant and gave him a serious ride but still came in and was critical saying he had committed too early.
"I'm delighted with that and I'm really happy for Robert and Julie (Finnegan, owners). He's a really exciting horse.
"He was a 140-rated hurdler and has got a gear. We'll stick to that kind of trip. I was delighted to see him get the two-mile-two as I wasn't convinced he would.
"He's got options now with either the Craddockstown back here or the race in Cheltenham the week before."
Walsh added: "He jumped spectacular. I was kind of thinking if I could get to the back of the second-last on the bridle, I had a turn of foot that could accelerate to win the race and that's the way it worked out.
"It's beautiful ground, he really liked it, but he jumped brilliant for a novice."