Hurricane Fly made a winning reappearance in the Dobbins & Madigans At Punchestown Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown after Go Native took a crashing fall at the final flight.
Paul Carberry brought Go Native to challenge long-time leader Hurricane Fly when Noel Meade's nine-year-old came down on his first run over hurdles for 978 days when looking dangerous.
That allowed the winner to come home in his own time and he was 12 lengths clear of the only other finisher, Captain Cee Bee.
It was a pleasing return for the 2011 Champion Hurdle hero and his sixth course and distance success.
Hurricane Fly was completing a hat-trick on the day for trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Ruby Walsh after their wins with Twinlight and Back in Focus earlier on the card.
Mullins said: "It looked like there was going to be no pace and we felt we would have to make it (the running).
"We weren't worried about the trip or ground. All we were really worried about was facing two rivals who were race fit.
"As he gets older he seems to settle better and hopefully he'll improve from that. He's certainly a different horse to last year. I was not happy with him last season.
"We'll look at Leopardstown at Christmas now and the plan will be that, the Irish Champion and Cheltenham as the races are well spread out. He'll be entered up in everything."
Hurricane Fly remained unchanged at 5-1 favourite with Sky Bet for the Champion Hurdle.