The Noel Meade-trained Road To Riches jumps to victory for Paul CarberryPICTURE: Alain Barr (racingpost.com/photos)
Road To Riches hits Gold Cup trail in Champion
Report: Down Royal, Saturday
JNwine.com Champion Chase (Grade 1) 3m, 5yo+
ROAD TO RICHES threw his hat into the Betfred Gold Cup ring with a strong front-running performance, making all to land a first Grade 1.
The Noel Meade-trained Galway Plate winner had never bagged a Graded race over fences, but he travelled powerfully under Paul Carberry and the pair registered an emphatic success.
Paddy Power made Road To Riches a 33-1 chance for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, while Coral went 16-1. The seven-year-old is a general 12-1 chance for the Ryanair.
Carberry kept things simple, taking the field along, with Rocky Creek and First Lieutenant for company.
There was little action for the first half of the race, but with six fences left On His Own made a mistake, which effectively ended his chances as he had already been dropping out of contention.
Road To Riches continued to jump for fun in front and another good leap three out helped Carberry's mount draw away turning into the home straight.
Rocky Creek gave willing chase under Sam Twiston-Davies, but was unable to land a blow, keeping on to take second.
Third went to favourite Boston Bob, who had crept into contention but could plug on only for third.
Carberry said: "He got it all his own way today, which was a big help. His jumping made a difference and when I saw the boys after the fourth last I was happy to get a breather into him.
"I jumped the last two very well and he wasn't stopping at the line. It was great."
Eddie O'Leary, representing winning owners Gigginstown Stud, mentioned next month's Lexus Chase at Leopardstown as a potential target for Road To Riches.