Jessica Harrington's charge has won eight Grade Ones, including the 2014 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, but it is nearly three years since he last struck at the highest level when seeing off old rival Hurricane Fly at the Punchestown Festival.
The 10-year-old kicked off this season by winning the Istabraq Hurdle at Tipperary in October and although he has struggled in Grade One events since, most recently placing fourth behind stablemate Supasundae in last month's Irish Champion Hurdle, he was the 11-10 favourite to stamp his class on this five-runner conditions event.
Barry Geraghty cut a confident figure in the saddle throughout and while he gave his supporters a scare by diving at the final fence, he managed to stay on all fours and galloped on tenaciously to score by two lengths from Lieutenant Colonel.
The Willie Mullins-trained Karalee, Ruby Walsh's second ride back after injury, was just a head further back in third.
Harrington said: "It's great to see him back, although he did his best to capsize at the last. Barry said he was very long but he quickened up well after it
"I'm delighted with him and it's great to win another race with him. The race was almost written with him in mind.
"He may go to Aintree or may go to Punchestown. It will depend on the ground. He will go to one of those two."
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