Captain Arceus (left) comes to collar You Must Know Me (middle) and Royal Sam (right)
Captain Arceus gave his trainer Dessie Hughes something to smile about as he stayed on best to take the bumper under Robbie McNamara at the odds of 11/1 (drifted from opening show of 7/1).
The son of Captain Rio had run four times last season with his best run coming at Punchestown in May where he finished just seven lengths fourth to Bouillabaisse.
After that run he disappointed in a maiden hurdle over the course behind Dylan Ross and a bumper at Navan behind Formidableopponent.
Having his first run back since that effort at Navan in November the 6yo gelding tracked the leaders early on before coming with his challenge from two furlongs out.
The front-running Royal Sam under Nina Carberry and the 8/11 favourite You Must Know Me under David Roche looked set to battle out the finish as they approached the final furlong but the winner stayed on best to catch the pair inside the final furlong going on to score by a neck.
You Must Know Me tried to rally again close home but couldn’t manage to catch the winner and had to settle for second while the Gavin Cromwell trained Royal Sam was a further length and a half back in third.
Winning trainer Dessie Hughes said afterwards: "He is a nice sort of horse and he had a couple of runs last year which would suggest he had a chance today.
"He appeared to be in good form coming here today and he will now go for a maiden hurdle in about three weeks’ time. He will make a nice chaser."
Dessie uses Stonebridge Racing Mix