Faugheen brought the house down at Leopardstown as he rolled back the years with a thrilling victory in the Flogas Novice Chase.
The Willie Mullins-trained 12-year-old added a second Grade One over fences to his multiple tally over hurdles – much to the delight of a big crowd at the Dublin Track.
Sticking to the rail throughout, Faugheen had to fend off the persistent challenge of his stablemate Easy Game to come out on top under Paul Townend.
Battleoverdoyen set off in front, but Faugheen was never too far away, with the pair separated by the width of the track.
The former looked beaten when coming down at the final fence after being headed two out, and while Faugheen (13-8 joint-favourite) had gone on at that point, he still had to finish the job – which he did in determined fashion, keeping on gallantly to score by half a length.
Mullins said: “I was absolutely delighted. I’ve had lots of winners before, but this was special, I think. They said it was special when he won down in Limerick at Christmas, but I wasn’t there.
“This is fantastic here – it’s probably one of the most special winners I’ve ever had.”
He went on: “It was a proper Grade One test, the way he battled. Paul was good on him and he got the jumps when he wanted to get them.
“I thought our other horse was going to beat him coming up the stands rail, which is probably better ground, but he dug deep.
“Last year he had little problems, but he came back and it’s fantastic the three runs he’s put together now.
“To come back at his age and do it on the number one stage here, at the biggest festival – to me that’s fantastic.
“I should have sent him over fences last year and I got sidetracked. I didn’t want to retire him without going over fences, as that is what we bought him for. Look what he can do now at 12. I should have gone earlier, but there you are.
“People want to retire horses at 10, 11 or 12, but to me they have plenty of life in them if they haven’t used up the mileage as younger horses.
“They can go much longer than people think and he’s the living proof of it.
“He’s got stamina, he’s got speed, he can jump. He’s got the whole package and a will (to win) – a bit like Un De Sceaux. They both want to train and get at the job, and you are really trying to not let them do too much. They have a huge attitude to racing and training.
“I would have been gutted if he was beaten today. A lot of people think if you take him on he will fold, but he’s after showing in his last three races that he doesn’t.”
Asked about future plans, Mullins said: “I’m going to enjoy today and we’ll leave any plans for another day.”