Beat That showed guts and class in equal measure to claim the Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle at Punchestown.
An 11-8 favourite following an impressive display on his first start over three miles at Aintree, the Nicky Henderson-trained six-year-old travelled powerfully in the hands of Barry Geraghty.
Ruby Walsh was far more animated aboard the Willie Mullins-trained Don Poli at the top of the home straight, but stuck to his guns to make a race of it.
The two touched down almost as one after jumping the final flight, but Beat That won the argument by three-quarters of a length.
Henderson has the summer to consider whether his charge should remain over hurdles next season or pursue a career over fences.
He said: “Barry said he wasn’t quite as fresh as he felt at Aintree, but that was a tough race.
“He’s a very progressive horse.
“He missed Cheltenham, went to Aintree and is a very exciting one to put away over the summer to think about what we're going to do.
“He and Whisper are the two that look like chasers, but the three-mile (hurdle) division is wide open and we do have to think about whether one stays over hurdles for another season.
“Which one does, I don’t know.”
Geraghty said: “He’s a big, weak horse and I didn't want to get into a scrap too soon.
“He should be a real horse next year.”
Meanwhile, Willie Mullins’ Boston Bob clinched the Punchestown Gold Cup.
The 5-2 favourite saw off the challenge of First Lieutenant and Henderson’s Long Run who finished second and third respectively.