Willie Mullins' Galopin Des Champs was back to his galloping best with a simple win in the BoyleSports Gold Cup Novice Chase at Fairyhouse.
"Galopin" looked to have the Turners Novices' Chase at Cheltenham in the bag last month but fell at the last, handing the race to rival Bob Olinger in dramatic fashion.
Yet, there was no repeat of the turf kissing antics at Fairyhouse as 2-11 favourite Galopin Des Champs ran his three opponents into the ground to draw away and beat Master McShee by 18 lengths.
Now an obvious Cheltenham Gold Cup contender for 2023, Paddy Power only have A Plus Tard on terms in the betting, with both horses priced up a an early 4/1.
"I had an armchair ride as he lobbed along and jumped for fun," said Galopin Des Champs' jockey Townend.
"He put up a massive performance at Cheltenham before the fall. The important thing was that he learned from it.
"I was so happy with him today. He knew what he was doing and looked a real professional."
Mullins said: "He had a hard race in Cheltenham - any horse that goes at that pace would have a hard race. All his homework suggested he was fine and Paul was happy with him.
"I was going to wait and go over three miles at Punchestown, but then I thought there's a Grade One here over two and a half and we took our chance.
"Paul rode him differently down to the first than he did at Cheltenham and that made a big change. To me it looked an ordinary pace and it looked like the other two elected to challenge him over the last three fences.
"Once he changed gear between the last two, it was over bar jumping the last. He just seemed to be on a wrong stride and Paul let the horse decide. He put down lovely and got over it.
"He quickened away after the last and he couldn't pull him up going around the bend.
"I reckon he's a Gold Cup horse. I have to discuss that with Greg and Audrey (Turley, owners) yet, but he looks a horse for the Gold Cup."