Solwhit impressively returned to winning ways to deny Sublimity back-to-back victories in the Leopardstown Golf Centre December Festival Hurdle at Leopardstown.
A huge disappointment on his last start behind Go Native in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle, Davy Russell was much more positive on him back on home soil.
Charles Byrnes, so narrowly denied with Weapon’s Amnesty in the Knight Frank Novice Chase on Monday, will have been delighted to see the Aintree Hurdle winner return to his best.
Sublimity made a mistake down the back straight and did well to get back into contention.
But the 8-11 favourite put his stamina to good use early in the straight and won by two lengths.
Edward O’Grady’s Jumbo Rio ran well in third, but Muirhead was disappointing for Noel Meade.
Byrnes said: ``They went a reasonably even pace compared to Newcastle, without going too fast, and the rain came for him just in time.
“The Irish Champion Hurdle and then on to Cheltenham will probably be the plan.
“My concern would be if it came up good ground in Cheltenham, as he probably needs two and a half miles on good ground.
“Davy had a Plan B with the potential lack of pace and if nothing was going to go on, then we were going to make the running.
“We wanted to make sure it didn’t turn out like it did at Newcastle.
“He wouldn’t have been doing an awful lot in front there and he always jumps really well.”
Sublimity's trainer Robbie Hennessy said: "Once again he has ran a cracker and it is a shame the rain came.
“He made a mistake down the back and I think it just woke him up, but the best horse won on the day.
“He will go to Cheltenham again with an obvious chance.
“He may run in the Irish Champion Hurdle before that, depending on the weather, but I do think he will run a good race at Cheltenham.”