The 2012 Champion Hurdle winner Rock On Ruby made a winning debut over fences at Plumpton yesterday.
Harry Fry's stable star, who picked up the two-mile blue riband in 2012 and finished a fine second in defence of his crown in March to Hurricane Fly, faced just two rivals and his task was made even easier when one of those departed at the third fence.
Noel Fehily looked confident, just intent on getting on Rock On Ruby from one side of his obstacles to the other without asking too many questions, and while a mistake four from home sent the birch flying he never looked like coming to grief.
The eight-year-old was safe over the last few fences and pulled away to win by four lengths from Lindsay's Dream, who was rated some 69lb inferior over hurdles.
As the first champion hurdler to go chasing for some time, Fry admitted to feeling the pressure.
"My immediate reaction is relief," said Fry as the 1-10 chance returned to the winner's enclosure.
"We've got away with it on the ground today. We know he's better on better ground."