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."
20 April 2015McCoy available for Gold runners
Toes points in right direction
Ascot not Newmarket for Ward pair
Bourke facing BHA panel
Maude hails departing McCoy
Options open for Gosden's Ball
Mr Mole lined up for AP race
Own at summit for Gold rush
Judge up for the Cup
Kurland heads direct to Ascot
Lieutenant in line for Punchestown
Arod considered for Lockinge
Stobart sponsors championships
Strath to burn a trail at Ascot
Gosden remembers 'lovely' Kate
Russell praise for 'brave' Forrit
O'Brien fails alcohol test
Flight grounds Gladness rivals
Hannon optimistic for Classics
York aim for Lucky Kristale
Perfect could try longer trip
Dettori has high hopes for Osaila
Cox upbeat despite Bear setback
Gosden sets sights on Sandown
19 April 2015Mogol finished for season
Cops team mull chase option
Hootenanny shines at Keeneland
Foxrock inquiry hears evidence
Intilaaq picks up Derby quotes
Parrott hails Prince among men
Muhaarar shakes up Classic picture
Cheltenian show just Champion
Redstart shocks Tiggy and co
Spring back with a bang
18 April 2015Harrington filly takes Navan prize
Ayaar another for in-form Dettori
Gamble pays off for Lee
Ground scuppers favourite Oscar
Hatch suffers Ayr misfortune
Mullins - Aintree fallers fine
Victory giving off right signs
Milborough team eye dream result
Harrington fined at Tipperary
Balding happy with Elm spin
Junior continues on upgrade
Newmarket target for Secret
Spring back into action
Gosden has Oaks in mind for Star
Sruthan chasing Curragh repeat
'Relaxed' Tiggy raring to go
17 April 2015Forrit poised to be National hero
Irving leads Champion charge
Belardo bids for Greenham glory
Days seeking further Success
No prep plans for Malabar
McCoy's Ayr mount withdrawn
Benoist in Al Shaqab link
No Cheltenham fairytale for McCoy
Navy sinks Sefton field
Kool result for Hannon
Cape clears away to score
Fleet-footed Astaire takes Abernant
Dutch delight for Hills
Ooty Hill returns at Newbury
Stellar field declared for Greenham