Rock Critic was an impressive winner of the Racegoer's 25 Euros Package Hurdle at Fairyhouse as last year's John Smith's Grand National third Seabass made a fine return to action in second place.
The Willie Mullins-trained Make Your Mark was the 4-6 market leader for his seasonal reappearance on the strength of some smart novice form last term, with Dermot Weld's Rock Critic next best at 9-4 after winning on his hurdling bow at last year's Galway Festival.
The two disputed the running, but it was clear before the home turn that Robbie McNamara was travelling far better and Rock Critic eased clear once straightened up for home, safely negotiating the last couple of obstacles to seal victory by three and a quarter lengths to make it two from two over timber.
Ted Walsh's Seabass ran a tremendous race on his first appearance since his superb Aintree performance last spring.
The 10-year-old was predictably outpaced over this two-mile trip, but stayed on strongly in the straight to grab the runner-up spot from a rather disappointing Make Your Mark.
Rock Critic was cut to 12-1 by Stan James for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, but Weld warned he was not a certain starter at Cheltenham.
The trainer said: "He did what I thought he would do. He knows his job and he jumps well. He would much prefer better ground.
"We've no definite plan - we'll speak to the owners. He's entered in Cheltenham but at the moment I see him as a Punchestown/Fairyhouse horse.
"We didn't plan to get there so soon, but his jumping took him there - he jumped like a stag."
25 October 2014Snoano stepping up for Trophy bid
Adelaide rules in Cox Plate
Sir Max clinches Mercury gold
Full marks for Bangor schooling
Milky Way on another planet
O'Brien targets another Trophy
Hurricane in hat for Morgiana
Buick happy as a Star is born
King ace back in the Old routine
McCoy makes Chepstow return
Botti seeking Astrelle celebration
24 October 2014Ballyalton out for the season
Hutchinson sits out weekend action
Balding sweet on Park chance
Walker hoping for Glorious victory
Times out to make Newbury headlines
Cheltenham honour leading figures
Moore keen on Adelaide chance
Stevens back for Breeders'
Johnson Houghton fined
Duke lords it at Carlisle
Southwell first for O'Brien
Fenton fined over steroids
Buywise on the money at Ludlow
Lockinge the big plan for Toormore
Stone ruled out of Old Roan
Wetherby likely for First run
Elm tops Trophy octet
23 October 2014Fenton guilty of drugs possession
Williams hoping for Max power
Harty biding his time with Lane
Clonmel aim for Baily
Jezki possible for Morgiana bow
Harrington expects Naylor to shine
Gosden a Fan of Newmarket scorer
Northern aces face off in Cumbria
Murphy plagued by shoulder injury
Dynaste charts direct Haydock route
O'Brien outlines Breeders' plans
Wetherby-bound Taquin to duck Power
High hopes for Adelaide run
Gilgamboa waits on ground
Dandino misses Cup date
22 October 2014December date for Balding memorial
Deputy outgunned at Fontwell
Whisky chasing Power spoils
Burke maps out Odeliz targets
Present sights set on Power prize
New category for all-weather champs
Moviesta has sales date
National aim for O'Neill star
Cheltenham on Ginge agenda
Lewis eyeing Dubai success
Henderson handed Ascot role
Panther given Breeders' go-ahead
Plain sailing for perfect Storm
Big Easy sets sail for Open fixture
Hall monitored for Giant Bolster
Stomachion in November frame
Hughes revels in 'sweet' success
BHA moves to address small fields
Connell turns to Heskin
Integral to race on next year