Rock On Ruby held off favourite Vaniteux to seal victory in the Dornan Engineering Hurdle at Cheltenham.
The 2012 Champion Hurdle winner , a 7-2 chance, took the lead two fences out to win the two-and-a-half mile contest by two-and-a-half lengths.
Jockey Noel Fehily said: “He won quite cosy and seems to be getting better.”
After victory in front of a 30,000 crowd, trainer Harry Fry said Rock On Ruby will be aimed at the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Earlier at Cheltenham, Jamie Bargary replaced Ryan Hatch to take Splash Of Ginge to victory in the BetBright Best For Festival Betting Handicap Chase.
Hatch suffered a suspected fractured collarbone in a fall in the previous race.
Always travelling sweetly, Splash Of Ginge, the 9-2 favourite, took the lead from Hunt Ball (14-1) at the second last and kept on strongly to win by three-and-a-quarter lengths.
Bargary said: “I can’t say how sorry I am for poor Ryan, he had a great day ahead of him.”