Road To Respect made an impressive start to the new campaign in the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal.
The Noel Meade-trained seven-year-old was narrowly beaten by fellow Gigginstown House Stud-owned runner Outlander in this Grade One contest a year ago, before enjoying his day in the sun in the Leopardstown Christmas Chase.
Meade's charge went on to finish fourth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and third in the Punchestown Gold Cup and he was the 6-4 favourite for his seasonal reappearance under Sean Flanagan.
It was not all plain sailing for the market leader as he raced a little sluggishly at the rear of the field for the first half of the three-mile contest before gradually warming to his task.
He began to make headway racing down the back straight and after taking over the lead from the front-running and eventual runner-up Woodland Opera before the home turn, Road To Respect bounded clear to seal a 16-length verdict.
Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown operation were claiming the prize for the sixth year in succession.