Apt Approach made most of the running to beat Follow The Plan in the featured Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles on Thursday afternoon.
The mount of Ruby Walsh looked in trouble before turning for home, as he made a mistake three fences out. However, he battled on bravely in the straight and had a couple of lengths to spare at the death.
The runner-up had won the race last year but had to settle for second, with Roberto Goldback back in third.
Trainer of the winner, Willie Mullins said: “He must be a fair horse to win after making a mistake like that, and he’s certainly improving.
“It’s very hard to find a race for him and he’s too high now for handicaps, so he’ll either go for the Ryanair Chase or the Gold Cup.
“Maybe the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park next month could be an option before Cheltenham.”
Ruby Walsh told At The Races: “I gave him a chance to get his wind back and get galloping again.
“He’d have been a good winner without it, but he was good enough to win making that mistake.”