Ivanovich Gorbatov claimed his first victory since the 2016 Cheltenham Festival in the RYBO Handicap Hurdle at Fairyhouse.
It is over three years since Joseph O’Brien’s charge landed the Triumph Hurdle at Prestbury Park and he has spent plenty of time in the wilderness.
However, his third placed finish at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown in February was a big step in the right direction and the JP McManus-owned seven-year-old was an 11-1 shot on his first start since in this 100,000 euros contest.
With JJ Slevin in the saddle, Ivanovich Gorbatov travelled strongly in midfield for much of the two-mile journey before moving onto the heels of the pacesetters rounding the home turn.
The gelded son of Montjeu got a dream run up the far rail, shot clear between the final two flights and had enough in reserve after the last to prevail by two and a half lengths from Tudor City.
“They went quick and he enjoys that. He travels and he jumps very well,” said O’Brien.
“He probably got there a little bit sooner than ideal, but he got a good jump at the last and that probably finished it for the rest of them.
“He was working well, but you don’t know what you’re going to get with him.
“Things fell his way today, it’s a lovely pot and I’m delighted for JP.”