Hurricane Fly has landed an historic fifth victory in the Irish Champion Hurdle beating arch rival Jezki at Leopardstown.
His win was part of a Grade One double for trainer Willie Mullins with Un De Sceaux taking out the Novice Chase.
Many felt retirement could be on the cards for Hurricane Fly after defeats at Cheltenham and Punchestown last year but he has come back in brilliant form.
Jezki cruised to the front in the hands of Tony McCoy with Hurricane Fly closing for Ruby Walsh.
Hurricane Fly knuckled down as he passed the grandstand packed with his adoring fans and he ranged ominously alongside Jezki as the final flight loomed.
Jezki made a mistake at the second last but Hurricane Fly was already in control, claiming his 10th win from 10 starts at the famous Irish course.
It was Hurricane Fly’s 22nd Grade One win and he will now head to the Cheltenham Festival.
“We’re just enjoying days like this now,” Mullins said.
“He keeps pulling out performances like that. He was fantastic and he did it the hard way, they made a staying race of it.
“It’s all go for Cheltenham now.”
Walsh now faces an agonising decision whether to ride Hurricane Fly in the Champion Hurdle or partner his stable companion and race favourite Faugheen.
“When the two of them are working well three days before the race, I’ll make it then,” Walsh said.
Paddy Power cut Hurricane Fly to 5-1 from 10-1 to clinch a third Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham while Un De Sceaux is the odds-on favourite for the Arkle.