ADO MCGUINNESS' stable stalwart Beau Michael (25-1) captured the Martinstown Opportunity Series Final Handicap Hurdle at Punchestown in a thrilling opening to day two of the Festival.
Having the 77th run of his career, Beau Michael had finished fourth in the race 12 months ago but had the assistance of David Splaine, one of the more experienced riders in the line up.
He had had three runs on the level since his last start over hurdles and made an early bid for home rounding the home turn.
Hazariban and The Crafty Butcher were closing after the last but Beau Michael held on narrowly.
"The plan was always to come here after a couple of runs on the Flat. I thought the ground had gone but he was the classiest horse in the race," said McGuinness.
"He can mix it in the premier handicaps on the Flat and he can also go over fences.
"He`s on a nice mark and he could even go for the (Galway) Plate. Whatever he does now is a bonus and I wish I had a lot more like him."