Guinness is good in Fortria at Navan
A decent hurdler in his time, the seven-year-old developed into a genuine Grade 1 horse over fences last season, finishing third in both the Dublin Chase and Tingle Creek.
Jumping well out in front under Blackmore, he was challenged by race favourite Riviere D'etel on the run to two out. However, a bad blunder at that fence all but ended the prospects of the Gordon Elliott trained mare.
Captain Guinness quickly went clear on the run to the last but to her credit, Riviere D'etel responded well and kept on in determined fashion to regain second place under Jack Kennedy.
Henry De Bromhead said: "He had done a lot of work for this, we had targeted it during the summer and it seemed the right race for him.
"He's some horse to leap and she (Blackmore) is an amazing lady.
"Absolutely (a big day in him), he's a really good horse and was giving away plenty of weight. We've yet to win a Grade 1 (with him), it is something we would like to achieve.
"I think we will maybe enter him in the Tingle Creek, he seems to really enjoy it around there (third last year). We'll see, we will enjoy today most importantly."
"I don't know what to make of it really - did we run under par or did he run over par?
"I thought he hurdled well and I loved seeing how well he travelled. Robbie (Power) keeps saying there's a lot of positives.
"We lacked a run and will definitely improve for fitness.
"If we had been beaten by one of the other two, we probably would have said 'that's grand' and I don't want to knock the winner, he was brilliant.
"The plan was always today and go for the Jack de Bromhead Christmas Hurdle on 28th December over three miles. I imagine it will Leopardstown in either the two miler or three miler. Probably leaning towards the three miles."