Sharjah stalked his rivals before delivering a resounding blow to win the Grade One Unibet Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown.

The withdrawals (due to the ground) of Samcro and Supasundae), left a depleted field of four, with former Champion Hurdle winner Faugheen, bidding to land back to back renewals of this two-mile race.

As the tapes went up, Faugheen jumped off in the lead from Tombstone, the only non-Willie Mullins trained runner.

Faugheen and Tombstone took the first flight a few lengths to the good over Sharjah, with another break to Wicklow Brave.

At the third, Faugheen continued to lead Tombstone by just ½ a length, with the pair clear of Sharjah and Wicklow Brave.

Tombstone continued to take Faugheen on, with Sharjah moving closer, as they approached the third from home.

The two jumped awkwardly and Sharjah moved into striking distance, as Tombstone began to feel the heat.

Turning for home, Faugheen led but was passed by Sharjah, who went clear and took the last well, scampering away for a shock victory by a wide margin.

Sharjah and Paul Townend beat Faugheen by about 7 lengths, with Tombstone a well beaten third and Wicklow Brave a disappointing last of the four.