Hurricane Fly justified the 2-1 favouritism by winning the Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novice Hurdle, but he was made to fight all the way by Donnas Palm.
The French import put his tall home reputation on the line and Willie Mullins’ four-year-old did not let his supporters down.
The win continues the great recent run for young jockey Paul Townend, who was riding the first Grade One winner of his career.
Cousin Vinny, stablemate of the winner, set a pedestrian early gallop, so much so that all eight runners were on the bridle turning into the straight.
By the second-last it only concerned three though, with Cousin Vinny just beginning to weaken on his hurdling debut.
Barry Geraghty threw everything at Donnas Palm but Hurricane Fly just possessed too much speed and won by a neck.
Blue Square gave Hurricane Fly an 8-1 (from 12-1) quote for the Ballymore Properties Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, with Cousin Vinny unchanged at 5-1 for the Supreme Novices’.