Homer Wells advertised his Irish Grand National claims by gaining a hard-earned victory in the At The Races Bobbyjo Chase, while Numbersixvalverde did his Aintree prospects no harm by finishing a creditable fourth.

The ground was very testing for this three miles and a furlong Grade 2 event, and it proved too much for the easy-to-back Watson Lake who was pulled up before two out.

Homer Wells in contrast thrives in these conditions, and the Thyestes Chase winner stayed on best for Davy Condon on the run-in to beat Jack High by 2L.

Condon was given a three day suspension for using his whip with excessive force and frequency.

'The fact that he's won here, I'd like to look at the Irish National rather than Aintree. He's also more likely to get his ground here and he's a dour stayer,' said winning trainer Willie Mullins.

Martin Brassil was also pleased with Grand National hero Numbersixvalverde, who kept on well in the straight to be beaten less than five lengths in fourth.

'He tends to jump deliberate on that ground but I was happy the way he stayed on. We'll see how he comes out of this before deciding if he will have another run before Aintree,' said Brassil.

Duty booked his ticket for the Triumph Hurdle when following up a recent Gowran Park win with another decisive victory in the Grade 3 Juvenile Hurdle.

Andrew Lynch sent the gelding to the front off the home bend, and he stayed on well to beat J'y Vole by six lengths, with disappointing favourite Robin Du Bois trailing in eighth.

'All being well he'll head over to Cheltenham now for the Triumph Hurdle. He stays and travels well. I always thought on his flat form that he wanted it good to firm but he's handled that ground well twice,' said trainer Kevin O'Brien.

Robert Tyner saddled another big handicap winner when The Halfway Bar showed great reserves of stamina in the Final of the Stallion Owners EBF Novice Handicap Hurdle Series.

The six-year-old went clear after three out for Philip Enright to beat Rock Diplomat by ten lengths.

'He ran a bit flat at Limerick after Christmas and I'd say he needs plenty of time between his races. Three miles and soft ground really suits him and he'll make a nice chaser next season,' said Tyner.

He added: 'He may not run again this season but we could have a look at the three miles novice at Aintree.'

Washington Lad justified good support (2/1-6/4 favourite) in the opening two-and-three-quarter miles beginners’ chase, holding on by a diminishing 3/4L from He's On His Way.

'If he comes out of this race well, he could run at Leopardstown next Sunday,' said trainer Pat Fahy of the gelding who was sidelined all of last year with a tendon injury.

Martin Hickey partnered his fourth winner under rules but his first over fences when Don't Be Daft got the better of a protracted duel up front with Big Zoomo in the hunter chase.

Sean Flanagan and Quintero teamed up for their second handicap hurdle win in the space of seven days in the 2m4f handicap hurdle, while Willie Mullins completed a double with Cooldine (Katie Walsh) in the bumper.