Wicklow Brave justified his 1-16 starting price as he cantered to victory in the Kerrymaid Hurdle at Listowel.
Willie Mullins’ charge has hit a purple patch in recent weeks, chalking up three wins on the bounce in lifting Flat events at Killarney in July and August, with a Galway Festival victory sandwiched in between.
Wicklow Brave was reverting to hurdles for the first time since July here, but he put in a largely satisfactory round of jumping for Paul Townend.
The nine-year-old made every yard of the running against two rivals and turning for home he was well in control, with Townend guiding him over the last to claim an easy success.
My Manekineko was a distant second, beaten 56 lengths, while Vengeful was a further 31 lengths back in third.
Townend said: “He was entitled to do it like that and he missed a couple because he was lonely in front.
“It’s definitely up there with the easiest winners I’ve ridden!”
Townend went on to dominate day one of the Harvest Festival as he claimed a further three events to notch an 88-1 four-timer.
Eric McNamara’s Percy Veer (3-1) made it two for Townend in the Charleville Cheese Maiden Hurdle while Humm Baby (5-1), who is trained by Michael Hourigan, made it three for the rider.
The Mullins-trained Camelia De Cotte then completed his fruitful afternoon as the 5-2 favourite in the Cheesestrings Mares Novice Chase.
Townend said: “She was good, bar the last, and was good from the first day she schooled at home. She was very good in Roscommon and is getting older and growing up a bit and is more manageable now than in the past.
“She probably didn’t win as cosily as it looked but there is a short run-in here.”
McNamara also made it a double on the day as Black Scorpion (7-2 favourite) prevented Kylecrue from notching a fourth successive victory in the Kerry Group Handicap Chase.
The trainer said: “He might go for the Munster National and could turn out on Saturday here too. It’s not beyond the bounds of possibility.
“I also wouldn’t mind winning another (fourth) Kerry National and he might just be the horse to do it next year.”