John Queally's Al Eile got the Irish off the mark at Aintree by taking the Unwins Wine Group Anniversary 4-Y-0 Novices' Hurdle under Timmy Murphy at odds of 25/1.

Made In Japan (7-1) was making a bold bid to follow up his Cheltenham success in the JCB Triumph Hurdle, but went down by three-quarters of a length, with My Will (10-1) six lengths back in third.

The race was run at a good pace, with the lead changing several times, but three out Made In Japan was kicked into a decisive lead by Richard Johnson. Murphy, however, had the move covered.

Having been switched to the far side to mount his challenge, Al Eile produced a telling burst of speed to land the £63,800 first prize.

Explaining his tactics, Murphy told the BBC:  "You can't go too soon on him or he'll spit his dummy out. He's a funny old customer and switching him made a difference. He pulled the extra out in the end."

Filed by James McMahon