Alderwood scores for McCoy
Alderwood and AP McCoy beat 4-7 favourite Trifolium in the Grade 1 Evening Herald Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown.
It was a stirring finish to the first Grade 1 event of the week as McCoy was seen at his strongest to get the progressive Thomas Mullins-trained eight-year-old up close home.
Trifolium annd Davy Russell had looked by the far the most likely winners as they went a couple of lengths clear at the final flight but McCoy still had something to say as he galvanised his mount.
He gradually got on top on the run to the line as they prevailed by half-a-length from the 4-7 market leader.
Winning owner JP McManus said: "I thought he had it all to do when Trifolium passed him, but he battled on well and he's a good, tough sort.
"Tom had him looking marvellous today."
Mullins warned that the plan at this stage, however, would be to send his charge novice chasing next season.
Mullins said: "We put him away last September as he was crying out for a break and we just decided we'd put him away for the festivals.
"The main one was Cheltenham and that came off, so anything that happened after that was a bonus. This is absolutely out of this world.
"At the moment, there is no change from going the chasing route.
"We'll all put our heads together, but anyone that rides him says he'll make a lovely chaser."
McCoy said: "He's improving for winning. I think he's got a lot of confidence from winning races and he's improving mentally as much as physically.
"This fellow loves to jump and goes on any ground. He keeps responding and has a great will to win. I knew he'd stay it out well."