No-one could begrudge Macs Joy his moment of glory at Punchestown on Friday as he gained revenge on Brave Inca in impressive fashion in the ACC Bank Champion Hurdle.
Barry Geraghty was always travelling supremely well on the 11/4 shot and hit the lead at the third last. Tony McCoy had already been at work on Brave Inca for a while but he just couldn't tap into his usual reserves.
Mac's Joy turned the corner still on the bridle and Geraghty only had to shake him up approaching the last before easing down close home.
"We got him at last," exclaimed Harrington afterwards. "I don't know whether it was the ground for Brave Inca or if they didn't go quick enough, which suited us.
"He has been thereabouts all season and really deserved it. We'll try again at Cheltenham next year."
Colm Murphy, trainer of Brave Inca, was gracious in defeat: "Tony said he was never travelling but he was staying on towards the finish, but all credit to Mac's Joy.
"He'll go out to grass now. He wants a stiff two miles and without a doubt the Champion Hurdle is the aim again next year."
Ruby Walsh landed his sixth winner of the week when Nicanor produced a gutsy front-running performance to land the Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa Champion Novice Hurdle.
With no pace on early, Walsh sent the SunAlliance Hurdle winner to the front and he kept on gamely in the closing stages to repel the late challenge of Mounthenry by a length.
"I was worried about the ground as you can't take chances with a horse like this," said trainer Noel Meade.
"Chasing has been the plan all along and I always thought he might be a Gold Cup horse one day. We thought the SunAlliance would be the aim but we might have to think about the Arkle as he has a lot of speed."
Tony McCoy gained some compensation for the eclipse of Brave Inca when Kinger Rocks ran out a convincin g winner of the Flogas Ireland Novice Hurdle.
Dermot Weld's mare hit the lead before the last and stayed on well to beat Earth Magic by a length-and-a-half.
English raider Olney Lad fought gamely to make all in the betfair.com Novice Handicap Chase.
Renee Robeson's charge was joined by Wolf Creek three out but found more in the closing stages, under Jimmy McCarthy, to score by a length-and-a-half.
Howaya Pet got the trip well in the four-mile Conyngham Cup, asserting after the last to score by three lengths from Hot Weld.
Trainer Gerry Keane revealed that the mare is in foal to Beneficial and is set to be retired to the paddocks.
The opening Kildare Hunt Club Chase turned into a rematch between Wonderkid and Abram's Bridge and the former gained revenge for Tuesday's defeat over the banks course.
Ciaran Moran was taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg after a fall from Native Copper in the second race while Conor O'Dwyer was ruled out for a week with a swollen leg following his ride on Hardy Eustace.