Ruby Walsh registered his first winner since returning from injury when Scotsirish bounded clear in the O'Connell Logistics Hilly Way Chase at Cork.

Walsh has been out of action since rupturing his spleen in a fall at Cheltenham last month - and only made his comeback on Friday.

The Irish jockey could not have received a more welcoming pick-me-up, however, as Scotsirish stormed to Grade Two honours.

Walsh was spotted making eyecatching progress early in the straight and seized the initiative from Newmill with a fluent jump two out.

Nearest pursuer Wanango took a heavy fall at the last which paved the way clear for Scotsirish to win by 16 lengths.

Cailin Alainn was second, while Tumbling Dice finished a never-nearer third.

Scotsirish is trained by Willie Mullins, who less than an hour earlier landed a Grade One at Navan with Mikael D'Haguenet.

Stan James cut the winner into 66-1 from 100s for the King George VI Chase at Kempton on St Stephen's Day.

Walsh, who remarked he was in good shape, said: ‘He didn't get three miles the last day in Thurles.

‘He stays two and a half miles well on good ground, but the two miles on testing ground seemed to suit him very well.

‘The Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas might come a bit soon, but we'll see how he comes out of this first.

‘There are plenty of options in two-mile races like the Norman Groves Chase at Fairyhouse in January and the Woodlands Chase at Navan.’

The Bishop Looney emerged a plucky winner of the Grade Three O'Connell Transport Cork Stayers Novice Hurdle.

An accomplished scorer at the course in November, the Tom Nagle-trained four-year-old glided over the second-last hurdle to gain a comprehensive lead over the flagging Pomme Tiepy.

Nagle's 10-1 shot then needed to show plenty of guts to repel the challenge of 33-1 outsider Part Presenting by two lengths.

Pomme Tiepy, the 4-5 favourite, finished third.

Nagle said: ‘That was a serious performance.

‘When I saw the entries I was in two minds about running him because the opposition looked too strong, but (jockey) Tom Doyle encouraged me to run.

‘Tom also told me the horse had plenty in hand.

‘He made a slight mistake at the last and Tom would have blamed himself if he'd have got beaten, but he found plenty.

‘There's the Slaney Hurdle at Naas in the new year and we might look at that.

‘If he goes there, I doubt if he'll run over the Christmas period.’

The Bishop Looney was introduced into Cashmans' betting at odds of 16-1 for the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Hill Fairy (25-1) did not need to break sweat to win the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Lombardstown Mares Novice Chase.

Several runners seemingly held live chances clearing the second-last fence of the Listed affair over two miles and a furlong.

But Kevin Coleman's mount suddenly broke clear of the chasing pack to account for Brotenstown (7-1) by nine lengths.

Winning owner/trainer John Morrison said: ‘She fell a few times over hurdles, but it was because she was jumping them too big.

‘It was her first run over fences but I had no worries about coming here.

‘She was wasting too much time in the air over hurdles and was jumping them like fences.

‘I'll aim her at similar types of Pattern races for mares and there's a Grade Three at Thurles in January.’