Champagne Fever made the perfect start to life over timber with victory in the I.N.H. Stallion Owners European Breeders Fund Maiden Hurdle at Cork.

The high-class bumper horse, winner of championship events at the Cheltenham and Punchestown festivals, was sent off the 1-8 favourite and barely saw another rival.

Ridden confidently from the front by Paul Townend, the Willie Mullins-trained five-year-old never had to be asked a question in strolling to a five-length success from Andunowhat, jumping well throughout.

Mullins said: "He did nothing wrong. He jumped big and he wasn't helped by all the messing at the start.

"He'll keep at hurdling."