Dunguib was a highly-encouraging third on his first run for 1040 days as Rule The World took the honours in the Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas.
Bryan Cooper made all of the running on the Mouse Morris-trained 5-4 favourite for his bosses, Gigginstown House Stud, to convincingly land the Grade Three contest, in which Jennies Jewel was second.
However, most eyes were on Dunguib as Philip Fenton's 2009 Cheltenham champion bumper hero made a pleasing comeback.
Sidelined since finishing unplaced in the 2011 Champion Hurdle, the 11-year-old was held up in the rear by Brian O'Connell before making progress, which he maintained to the line, in the straight.
Fenton said: "I expected him to get tired sooner. Hopefully he'll be OK in the morning and the Red Mills at Gowran (15 February) is a possibility."
Morris said of the winner: "The ground and making the running were not ideal, but it was a good performance.
"He'll now go straight for the World Hurdle at Cheltenham."
The feature event of the afternoon was the Woodlands Park 100 Club Novice Chase (Grade Two) and it required all Foxrock's reserves of stamina to win in the testing conditions.
Rogue Angel took them along, but he was a spent force when they turned into the straight and the Ted Walsh-trained Foxrock (11-8 favourite) responded to Danny Mullins' urgings to get the better of Sizing Gold by seven lengths.
The ex-French Ivan Grozny, who was a narrow second at Leopardstown on his Irish debut, got Willie Mullins off to the perfect start when running away with the Book Hospitality On Line Maiden Hurdle.
Sent off the 8-13 favourite, the four-year-old raced in third under Ruby Walsh and after making smooth progress to lead approaching the final flight, surged clear to score impressively by 12 lengths.
Andrew Lynch held a huge advantage in mid-race on Kick On Boss in the INH Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle and though Willie McCreery's 5-4 favourite finished tired, he never looked like being caught and had 12 lengths to spare at the line.
Liz Doyle landed a double, Glen Beg (33-1) arriving late under Kevin Sexton to snatch the Happy Birthday Dixie Reilly Handicap Hurdle by a neck, and Reality Dose (13-2) forging clear from the last to take the Cheltenham Trial Day 23rd February Handicap Chase by two and three-quarter lengths in the hands of Adrian Heskin.