Concertista handled the step up in trip to win the BoyleSports Irish EBF Dawn Run Mares Novice Chase at Limerick.
A winner at the Cheltenham Festival in 2020, she was beaten in a photo finish back there in March and had her attentions switched to fences this season.
Good enough to win a Grade Two event on her chasing debut at Cork, that came over two miles and she was stepping up to two and three-quarter miles on this occasion – and in very testing ground.
There was no hanging about either, as Kitty Galore shot into an early lead, ensuring there was plenty of pace on.
Concertista’s main market rival Sayce Gold was an early faller and Sean O’Keeffe was content to give the leader plenty of rope.
It proved a good decision as along with Darrens Hope, they reeled in Kitty Galore on the run to the last and the 1-2 favourite pulled four lengths clear at the post.
“She was obviously very high class over hurdles, I was very happy with her jumping today and stepped forwards a lot jumping-wise and fitness-wise from her first run,” said O’Keeffe.
“At the top of the hill Kitty Galore had a good lead, but my mare was picking up loads and I knew turning into the straight my mare would pick her up easy. I was always confident on her and she was good and clever at the last.
“Her class shows true and Willie (Mullins, trainer) has done a very good job keeping her sweet. Hopefully she will improve again and it was a very nice performance.”
Mullins, speaking from Leopardstown, said: “I thought Sean gave her a brilliant ride because he’s only young, she was a hot shot but he didn’t panic.
“He kept her jumping and it’s very hard when you are so far out of your ground, especially one of John Ryan’s because they jump and gallop.
“It was a huge ask for a young fellow but he timed it perfectly. For a mare having her second run over fences, she jumps likes a handicapper. She was very slick and very sharp.
“She’ll go to Cheltenham and probably have another run somewhere. It could be a year too early but there’s the mares’ chase.”