Monksland made an ideal start over fences as he lifted the Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Beginners Chase at Gowran Park.

A three-time Grade Two winner over hurdles, Monksland warmed up for this assignment by chasing home Arctic Fire in the Lismullen Hurdle at Navan earlier this month.

Noel Meade's charge was sent off a 5-2 chance in the hands of Sean Flanagan and he assumed control at the top of the straight, always looking as though he had the beating of favourite Roi Des Francs.

Monksland eventually came home a length and a half clear, much to the delight of Meade who said: "We said we'd take our chance over fences and see how it goes and if it didn't work out we could go back to hurdling.

"His schooling went great and he has spent half his time swimming as well. When he jumped he jumped well.

"We thought with the Grade One at Christmas he might struggle but if he took to jumping fences you wouldn't know where he could go.

"You'd have to be happy with his first run over fences. He did run in a point-to-point but that was his first chase.

"He was good other than the second last first time when Sean did well to stay with him.

"That's his first winner for me and I'm delighted for him. I've been very pleased with what he's been doing. He has great hands and horses jump great for him.

"He comes in to ride a couple of mornings and does a lot of schooling. He's a really nice lad too."

Smashing (8-11 favourite) ran out an impressive four-and-a-half-length winner of the Morrison BMW Chase for trainer Henry de Bromhead and jockey Jonathan Burke.

He pushed on from the second last and came home comfortably clear on his first outing since finishing third in a Fairyhouse Grade One back in April.

"I'm delighted with that. I thought it was a brilliant ride from Johnny as he's not easy this guy," said De Bromhead.

"He jumped super for him and I loved the way he sat on him going around the top after jumping the fourth last.

"He's an exciting horse. I'd say the John Durkan will come too soon and we'll sit back and see with him.

"He'll get an entry for the two mile one at Leopardstown and we'll see what the ground is like. Obviously we have Sizing Granite for that as well. There's also a nice two and a quarter miler at Thurles in January.

"I think he loves that soft ground and we'll get our business done in the winter and then see where we are."

The majority of the card belonged to Willie Mullins who notched up a hat-trick starting with Footpad (1-5 favourite) in the 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle.

"He looked a nice horse in France on his last run and has probably done that way better than I thought he could do," said Mullins.

"I haven't been very hard on him since I got him and he's not in very long so hopefully there is plenty of improvement.

"He's a horse that could go anywhere. I have half a dozen three-year-old hurdlers in at the moment."

American Tom (8-15 favourite) followed in the hoofprints of subsequent Cheltenham-winning stablemate Douvan as he won the Join Gowran Park Golf Club For 499 Novice Hurdle in fine style.

Mullins said: "It looked like we were fortunate there, but we'll take every bit of luck we can get.

"They maybe went too slow. We thought that would suit him but it looked like they slipped him and we were fortunate.

"We'll have to go up in grade now and see. Looking at him there it looked like he wants a longer trip."

There was drama in behind as Gunnery Sergeant and Neverushacon both came to grief at the second last, with the latter's jockey Robbie Power getting one of his feet caught in his iron.

However, Gunnery Sergeant's rider Bryan Cooper was quick to help, catching Neverushacon and eventually releasing Power's foot with the aid of others.

The Gigginstown House Stud-owned and Cooper-ridden Stone Hard (evens) made it three wins in as many races for the Closutton outfit as he rounded out Mullins' treble in the Race That Stops A County Thyestes Jan 21st 2016 Maiden Hurdle.

"We were a bit fortunate with the better jump at the last," said Mullins.

"I'd say he'd be in the staying division and we'll go out in trip with him. He's a beautiful looking horse."