The opening Tattersalls Ireland five-year-old mares’ maiden saw Colin Bowe and Barry O'Neill, fresh from their double at Dromahane the previous Sunday, joined forces to collect this opening contest with Streets Of Fire.
Indeed, last month's Boulta runner-up Streets Of Fire was the only one of the six runners with prior experience and the winning daughter of Milan led from the fourth of the 14 fences.
Whilst runner-up Trick N' Trump held every chance on the run to two-out, the Milestone Stables inmate readily asserted between the final two obstacles to oblige by 10 lengths in the colours of former amateur rider Tom Cloke.
"She's a grand honest mare and her experience helped. She was weak last season and you would hope that she will have a nice future on the track," said the Wexford handler.
Burning Ambition, who finished eighth when sent off favourite in last season's Cheltenham Foxhunters made his seasonal debut in the East Cork Oil Company open for novice riders.
Pierce Power's charge beat Fenno's Storm in a gripping finish with first-time partner Jack Hendrick.
The eight-year-old was always travelled well off the pace and he eased ever closer from three-out. The Alexandria Gardner- owned son of Scorpion touched down in front two-out and, although long-time leader Fenno's Storm rallied to tremendous effect as the post loomed, there was still a half-length between the pair at the line.
“He will go for the Thurles hunters chase in a couple of weeks’ time," Said Power who dedicated the victory of Burning Ambition to his close friend Keith Dalton, from Tipperary who sadly died over the festive period.
The Tom Keating-owned/trained Dolphin Square stepped up from his eighth-placed return effort at Ballindenisk last month by springing a mild surprise in the truly-run P O’Farrell & Mary Ryan five-year-old geldings’ maiden under Roger Quinlan.
Having a fourth career start, the geldings was ridden in mid-division and picked up the running after two-out.
Gold Des Bois was soon in pursuit and Richie Deegan's mount had just joined issue with the eventual winner when falling at the final fence. Dolphin Square was then left clear to beat favourite Song Of The Hunter by 12 lengths, the pair being the only finishers.
"He's a nice horse that stays well. He might go to some of the sales now,” said the winning handler.
The Kepak seven-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden saw Touch Tight provide the concluding leg of a double for the absent Robert Tyner, also on the mark with Avoid De Master at Mainstown, by justifying favouritism in a gripping three-way finish.
The seven-year-old, placed on three occasions last term, made smooth progress with James Hannon before two-out and the seasonal debutant took command on the flat to edge out Bright Rhett by a head in what was the closest finish of the afternoon.
"He was a bit unlucky last season, but he is back to form now and I'd imagine that he will go for a winners race now," said Tyner's wife Mary of Touch Tight, representing the Traveling Light Syndicate.
Former amateur rider Kevin O'Sullivan owned and trained the previously once-raced Darius Des Sources in the AMAC six-year-old geldings maiden.
The grey gelding, who was sent off favourite when pulling up at Rathcannon in November, was always merely in cruise control towards the rear of the six-runner field and there was only going to be one outcome once Eoin O'Brien sent him to the lead after two-out.
Although blundering at the last, the winning son of Irish Wells still defeated first-timer Robin Is Ready by five lengths.
"This horse is big and backward, he has just needed time." said O'Sullivan, who also won a maiden at this same meeting in 2016 with Henry de Bromhead's subsequent Grade 1 winning chaser Monalee.
The Hurleys SuperValu six-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden attracted the biggest field of the afternoon in 11 runners and Jimmy Mangan supplied the winner in the form of his wife Mary's The Best In Town.
The mare was always well positioned with Johnny Hurley and she took up the running before two-out. Her closest pursuer Getaway Totherock was already fighting a losing battle when blundering at the final fence and there was ultimately six lengths between the pair at the line.
"She's a mare that just needed the run when she pulled up at Ballindenisk last month and Johnny gave her a great ride today. We will target her at the Gain Mares' Final," said the winning handler.