Cue Card marked himself as a true contender for the King George VI Chase as he turned in a spring-heeled display of jumping in the sportingbet Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter.
The former top bumper and two-mile novice hurdler staged an exhibition round in which he hardly touched a twig and was on occasions - such as when pinging the ditch on the far side of the track - quite spectacular to watch.
With his main market rival Menorah toiling throughout, the 5-6 favourite gradually pulled clear under Joe Tizzard as he met the four fences in the home straight spot-on. In the end, he had 26 lengths to spare as Edgardo Sol rallied past a tired Menorah after that one made a bad mistake at the last.
There was a strong bookmaker reaction to the display, with Paddy Power making Cue Card 8-1 from 16s for the King George while Victor Chandler offer 10-1 from 25s.
Trainer Colin Tizzard said: "Watching him today, it makes you wonder why you would ever think of going up to three miles, but Kempton (the King George) has been his target and if he's ever going to get three miles, it will be round there.
"Pace is just not an issue for him as he was always cruising. He used to tank but he was a lot less fizzy than he normally is on his first run back. When Joe squeezed him up, he was gone."
Tizzard added that he would give Cue Card one more outing ahead of the King George "somewhere". He explained: "I honestly haven't given that a lot of thought. He will go somewhere but I don't know where for sure. He might even go for the Betfair Chase yet."
Joe Tizzard added: "He was electric at his fences and was pricking his ears all the way up the straight. He's only a six-year-old and will hopefully carry on progressing."
Philip Hobbs had no excuses for Menorah, who will probably remain over fences for the time being despite being caught for second place.
The trainer said: "He was a bit flat, but to be fair he'd have been a clear second but for his bad mistake at the last. Nothing is being ruled out, but I think he'll stick to chasing."
21 October 2014Panther given Breeders' go-ahead
Plain sailing for perfect Storm
Big Easy sets sail for Open fixture
Hall monitored for Giant Bolster
Stomachion in November frame
Hughes revels in 'sweet' success
Storm breezes to Exeter victory
BHA moves to address small fields
Moore concedes title to Hughes
Connell turns to Heskin
Integral to race on next year
Meade maps out gameplan for stars
Pele poised to tackle Hennessy
O'Neill sure of Taquin redemption
Heron seeking Great prize
Court to go on Trial
Saviour blow for Skelton
Dan makes chase debut
Moore waits on Grugy decision
O'Neill outlines That choices
Conn possible for Auction bid
Power team weigh up options
Bangor cancel schooling card
No rushing back for Long Run
Dynaste leads Old Roan contenders
Grands Crus retired
Exciting Berlais heads to Chepstow
Force handed Hong Kong mission
Park favourite for Trophy hunt
Al Kazeem team eye Hong Kong trip
Commemorative bound for Breeders'
Slade eyeing victorious swansong
20 October 2014Chelmsford City handed 58 fixtures
Alderwood to take two-mile test
Dynaste leads Old Roan contenders
Hennessy aim for Clouds
Fiesolana on Breeders' trail
High-class possibilities for Trophy
Chelmsford City handed 57 fixtures
French option for Maarek
Billy back for chasing bow
Judge to bid for Breeders' glory
Pipe mulls Moon target
High hopes for Holywell
Judge in Breeders' frame
Hill stars for Stoute and Moore
Gabriel lifts Garnet for Deegan
New One back with a win
Light career hangs in balance
Stars shines on hurdling debut
King big guns ready to start
Tullius camp consider options
Doyle unlikely to appeal Ascot ban
Mullins prepares formidable team
19 October 2014New One breezes to victory
Lavelle has Becher plan for Lodge
Riches heading on road north
Down Royal plan for Tiger
New makes Kempton return
Panther hunting Canadian prize
Sun takes a shine to Cork
Hobbs upholds Showcase record
Another gold strike for Bronze
Gallant Noble a true Champion
Head turns on Charm in QEII
Madame is Ascot leading lady
Forgotten rules for Weld
Byron is poetry in motion
18 October 2014Forgotten rules for Weld
War misses Breeders' date
Rakti reaps Caulfield reward
Chatez bids for Balmoral crown
Lavelle duo top Cheltenham card
Integral takes on the boys
Noble on Champion mission
Belardo a Dewhurst sparkler
Together stands firm for Ballydoyle
Ivawood felled by plucky Thought
Crowley doubles up on Berkshire
Tendon injury sidelines Tent