Call The Police was made to pull out all the stops by Foildubh in a thrilling climax to the Beamish Stout Phil Sweeney Memorial Chase at Thurles.
Second to Last Instalment in last season's Dr P.J. Moriarty Novice Chase and third in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham, Call The Police was the 2-7 favourite to get off the mark for the campaign having found only Hidden Cyclone too strong on his return to action at Gowran Park.
The Willie Mullins-trained 10-year-old went to the front heading down the back straight under Ruby Walsh, but was being tracked all the while by Paul Carberry aboard Foildubh.
The pair turned into the straight well clear of the rest and it was only after the final obstacle that Call The Police sealed victory, finding a little more for pressure to take the Grade Three prize by half a length.
Mullins said: "It was worth missing Christmas for this. We had it in our minds to come for this race as it was a nice prize.
"We'll keep him to between two and two and a half miles. He could go further but I don't really want to at the moment.”
Mullins and Walsh were expected to follow up in the Devil's Bit Beginners Chase with 1-2 favourite Cadspeed, who was seeking compensation for a last-fence fall with the race in the bag at Clonmel last time.
But the 10-year-old proved a major disappointment, finding nothing when tackled in the straight and fading into third as Brian O'Connell swept past on Philip Fenton's Pineau De Re (8-1), who held Stony Grey Soil's charge by a head.
The champion trainer secured his double when highly regarded 1-5 favourite Briar Hill, with his son Patrick in the plate, cleared away in the final furlong to take the Holycross Flat Race by seven lengths.
The Eugene O'Sullivan-trained Rocknrollrambo (7-1), twice second in points last month, led three out and galloped on strongly under Paddy Kennedy to hold Mimi And Bow by three and a half lengths in the thurles.ie Maiden Hurdle.
Christy Roche's Stop The Clock (6-1) stepped forward from her Navan debut run to take the Cashel Mares Maiden Hurdle in the JP McManus colours, asserting between the final two flights for Alan Crowe and winning by three and a half lengths.
Ben Dalton made a decisive move after the third-last on Pat Lynch's veteran Moving On in the Horse & Jockey Handicap Hurdle and the 20-1 shot stormed clear before coasting in by six lengths.