Boston Bob was made to pull out all the stops by You Must Know Me on his fencing debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase at Navan.
Willie Mullins' exciting prospect, second to the ill-fated Brindisi Breeze in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham in March, is already one of the favourites for the RSA Chase back at Cheltenham and was sent off the 1-5 favourite.
Ruby Walsh was content to let Henry De Bromhead's You Must Know Me have an easy lead and though he made the ground up easily enough, in the end he had to get to work before Boston Bob landed the spoils by half a length.
Paddy Power left the winner unchanged at 7-1 for the RSA Chase in March, but Ladbrokes eased him out to 10-1 from 7s.
Walsh said: "It was harder than I expected this morning, but not harder than I expected after I'd gone down to the start. It was heavy at Cheltenham yesterday, but not as bad as that.
"I was delighted with the way he jumped as for my money he'd been a bit careful at home, but today he was brilliant.
"Three miles will probably bring out the best in him. We've always thought he was a hell of a good horse. He's had a good start, a good clear round and he's won."
Mullins added: "He made hard work of that and his jumping probably kept him in the race. He wasn't impressive anyway.
"We'll see how he comes out of the race, but he won't be going to Leopardstown (at Christmas). It might take him some time to get over that so we won't make any plans at the moment."
10 March 2014Champagne in sparkling form
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Ruby ready to Rock
Confidence behind Conor
Special One bids for Champion glory
Suspensory problem sidelines Chris
Mullins 'very happy' with Fly
Cooper raring to go after fall
National glee for supersub Mullins
Francome fancies New One revenge
Quinn targets another Triumph
Buck's primed for World title bid
Cheltenham team monitor ground
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Activial to duck Festival mission
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Fab Fly takes on eight in Champion
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Cooper warms up with double
Cooper warms up with double
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Dude's the main man
Top trainers reject watering
Hinterland takes Champion test
Baltimore sets up bonus bid
Warrior wins Trial battle
Fallon hits Meydan heights
Chartreux bounces back to best
Brave Vic has Final word
Soumillon strikes on super Shea
On His Own joins Gold Cup field
8 March 2014Queally hits Sandown target
Briar tops Bartlett contenders
Calipto leads Triumph hopefuls
Ginge fires burn brightly for Neild
Creek forced out of Gold Cup
Milan targeting Final glory
McCoy to miss Sunday and Monday
Exchange rate pays dividend
Temps doubtful for Festival
Conor settles in at Cheltenham
De Bromhead sweet on Special
Epsom to honour St Nick
Mullins dominates JLT entries
Al and Dynaste top Ryanair field
Big two lead World possibles
7 March 2014Lockinge target for Tonto
All set for a super Saturday
Silver aiming to shine
Imperial only thought for Honeyball
Distance fears for Highland
Montiridge preps for Dubai trip
Ayr gets go-ahead
Ayr delay inspection decision
Benbulben misses Cheltenham
Card 'gut wrencher' for Tizzard
Guard stands tall for new record
Faugheen looms over Neptune field
Ballycasey stands firm in RSA
Sire spearheads Queen Mother list
Australia still in Derby shake-up
Henderson perfectly happy with Tent
Regal leads the way in Imperial