Notebook kickstarted what proved to be a day to remember with pointing recruits for Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore when landing the ERSG Arkle Novices’ Chase at Leopardstown.
Following the defection of Fakir D’Oudairies due to the drying ground conditions, the seven-year-old was sent off as the 5/4 favourite to repeat his course and distance success of month earlier when victorious in the Grade 1 Racing Post Novices’ Chase at the Dublin venue over Christmas.
Racing keenly for Blackmore, John Nallen’s Dromahane winner, improved to join the long-time leader Cash Back at the penultimate fence, as the pair drew clear.
Whilst holding a narrow lead at the last, the runner-up kept him honest on the run-in, but he was always able to hold Cash Back, and crossed the line three quarters of a length clear to win his second Grade 1 prize in the €150,000 heat.
As big as 50/1 for the Cheltenham equivalent back in November, was cut into a top price of 7/2 for the Grade 1 contest which is set to be his next target.
“He had to tough it out and he jumped brilliant. Cash Back gave us some race there,” said de Bromhead.
“I didn't think he jumped to his right as much as at Christmas, he was very good today.
“A few of ours have improved a lot over fences through the years. Special Tiara was a 116 hurdler and Ordinary was 118.
“Some of them need a fence and you saw his jumping out there, he's a dream and he just seems to love it. Also I was running him over the wrong trip for most of last year!
“He'll go straight to the Arkle and fingers crossed we get a clear run.
“He seems to have won on everything but he's probably marginally better on better ground.