Dual Gold Cup winner Best Mate swept clear of the field to effortlessly win the Ericsson Chase at Leopardstown.
Best Mate is now evens to complete a Gold Cup hat-trick
Jim Culloty waited until clearing the second fence from home before kicking the eight-year-old on to win by nine lengths.
Le Coudray made a late challenge to clinch second spot ahead of leading Irish chaser Beef or Salmon, who never threatened.
Trainer Henrietta Knight will now set Best Mate's sights on a third Cheltenham Gold Cup in March, for which the gelding is now odds-on favourite.
If he wins, he will become the first horse since Arkle in the 1960s to claim the prize three times.
The Leopardstown victory capped a memorable Christmas for Knight, Culloty and owner Jim Lewis, who won the King George VI Chase at Kempton with 25-1 chance Edredon Bleu.
They were also vindicated for their decision to switch Best Mate from the King George to Leopardstown.
"He's a beautiful horse," said Knight after the race. "He may not be Arkle but he is some horse.
"We were very nervous because it was unknown territory but when I walked the course it was just what we wanted.
"He won't come out again until the Gold Cup now and people have the chance now to come and see him at home."
Batman Senora had taken up the early running along with Tony McCoy's mount Colonel Braxton, but Best Mate stayed with them in third place.
Seven fences from home the leader weakened and Colonel Braxton went on, tracked by the 8-11 favourite and Beef Or Salmon, just two-and-a-half lengths back.
Culloty weaved his way round to the inside and did not have to wait long to exploit a gap on the final turn home.
He urged on Best Mate, who sprinted clear of the field, sailing over the final fence to claim the Grade One contest in Leopardstown.
"That was such a classy performance," said Culloty.
"They were going too slow for me all the way round and I didn't want to be in front too soon because it is a long way up that hill.
"But after I got over the second last I said right go. He is absolutely different class, you could go down to a fence with your eyes closed."
Beef or Salmon's trainer Michael Hourigan is eager to find out what when wrong for his seven-year-old.
"I will have him scoped and maybe something will come to light," said Hourigan. "There's a lot of coughing about at the moment."
Leopardstown, Grade One, 3 miles
1. Best Mate (Jim Culloty) 8-11F
2. Le Coudray (Barry Geraghty) 14-1
3. Beef Or Salmon (Timmy Murphy) 2-1