Martin Pipe's gelding, engaged in the Gold Cup and Sun Alliance Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, had been off the track since the French Champion Hurdle last July.
Dunwoody, thrilled with the display, said: 'He fenced really well. We did all we could with him at home but it was down to him to do it on the track.'
At Kelso, jumping mistakes put paid to Jinxy Jack's attempt to take the Jinxy Jack Morebattle Hurdle, renamed in his honour, for the fifth consecutive year. Grey Power spoiled the party, completing a double for Mary Reveley, while Howard Johnson also had a brace of wins after a barren 28 days.
Staunch Friend will definitely miss the Champion Hurdle. Mark Tompkins has decided the gelding, who has had a tendon injury, will not be ready in time.