Ipsos Du Berlais paid a handsome compliment to Boston Bob when winning the Noel Farrelly Memorial Hurdle at Punchestown.
Five lengths behind Willie Mullins' potential star when third to him in a Grade One at Navan last time, Noel Meade's grey looked in some trouble half a mile out as Western Leader stretched the field.
But rounding the turn for home Davy Russell got Ipsos Du Berlais (9-4) into overdrive and he drew alongside Western Leader before pulling clear for a six and a half length win.
Meade said: "I was a little disappointed with the way he travelled through the race, but he is lazy. Davy said they went very fast and he's only a novice, so I thought it was a very good performance.
"He wants three miles and maybe a bit faster ground and should learn a lot from today. I blame myself for his Thurles defeat as he was running back a bit too quick.
"He ran a good race at Navan and came home well, but won't run for a while now as he has had a hard race there on heavy ground. He'll get an entry for the three-mile novice hurdle (Albert Bartlett) at Cheltenham."
Mouse Morris was thrilled with China Rock's fourth place and said: "I'm delighted with him - the Hennessy Gold Cup is the plan, but we'll have to wait and see how he is in the morning."
Denis Hogan trained and rode Drive On Jim (8-1) to victory in the Racing UK Handicap Chase.
"The blinkers he had on today were actually a mistake as I meant to put cheekpieces on when I was declaring him - it's a pity he isn't entered in the Thyestes, but we'll find another nice staying chase for him soon," said Hogan.