Gordon Elliott continued his excellent run of form when Search For Glory delivered a strong staying performance in the Grade 3 Singletons SuperValu Stayers Novice Hurdle at Cork.
The well-backed 7/4 market leader jumped well on the whole in first-time cheekpieces and picked up strongly once asked by Jack Kennedy, putting a comfortable three lengths between himself and the runner-up Solitary Man [4/1] crossing the line.
Paddy Power trimmed the winner to 20/1 for the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.
Kennedy's winning run comes to an end
Kennedy, who also landed the opening two contests on the card, would have been hoping to make it four in a row at Cork on Sunday when the Elliott-trained Harmonya Maker was sent off favourite for the Grade 3 O'Flynn Group Irish EBF Mares Novice Chase.
However, after a series of left-handed jumps the 6/5 market leader had to settle for second behind the rank outsider Silent Approach, who was sent to the front with three fences take in what would prove a race-winning maneuverer by jockey Danny Mullins.
Silent Approach had a look at the penultimate fence from home but jumped it cleanly and quickened up in good style to give herself a handy advantage approaching the final flight. Once again, the Conor O'Keeffe-trained mare was quick and accurate, and the 33/1 chance soon powered clear for a ready three-and-a-quarter-length success.
Grade 1-winning hurdler Zenta finished back in third on her chasing bow.
Winning trainer, owner and breeder Con O'Keeffe, who was enjoyed the biggest success of his career to date, said: "It is a great win, and I must dedicate it to my wife Claire, who lost her mother Peggy last week. She was always the first one to ring me after we won a race, so this is great for Claire and my family,"
"We have been jumping hurdles all year, but the lads have been saying to jump fences and she is a fantastic jumper who is improving all the time. We were hopeful, as she was in great form and Danny gave her a fantastic ride.
"We have had the family for three generations, and you could write what I know about training horses on a postage stamp, as breeding is our game. I'm delighted for Tadhg (O'Sullivan, co-owner), who has been with me with our horses from the beginning."