Paul Townend hailed Wicklow Brave as "the horse of a lifetime" for his owner after the 2016 Irish St Leger winner made a victorious debut over fences at Ballinrobe on Tuesday evening.

The Willie Mullins-trained 10-year-old was also a Grade One scorer over hurdles Punchestown in 2017, but was having a first crack over fences in the McHale Tiger Roll Beginners Chase.

Wicklow Brave jumped from fence to fence as he tracked Cliff House before easing past that rival on the run-in for a comfortable length-and-a-half success in the colours of Wicklow Bloodstock.

Townend said of the 4-5 favourite: "Once I got into the straight, I was confident that I'd pick up the horse in front of me. He's taken to fences and he's the horse of a lifetime for his owner."

Townend was completing a treble on the night while Mullins notched up a four-timer.