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."
29 July 2014Repeat Topaz victory for Vastonea
Tag recovering from Ascot exertions
Muthmir team eye Goodwood gold
Eagle set for short break
Van driven out for Goodwood success
Love too much for Toormore
Cotai claims Molecomb glory
Leger hopefuls seek Gordon glory
Sennockian stars at Goodwood
Hannon aims to uphold family honour
He who would be King
Vulcanite spearheads Longsdon raid
Hughes launches double Plate bid
Estimate in Goodwood Cup field
Quick picks off Galway rivals
Lion could roar in Champion Stakes
Time out for Carpenter
Beckett considers Gesture gameplan
Pitt ponders Sir Stewards' run
Bird in full flight for Nassau
Beacon leads Hannon trio
Toormore on Goodwood mission
Star duo head Sussex field
28 July 2014PJA hits out at ERA Cosgrave case
Chopin team wait on softer ground
Options open for Approval
Pallasator states case for Ebor
Custom a cut above
Harty doubles up in Galway feature
Munich Mission impossible
Jinx on a high in France
Cox plays it cool with Kodi
Girl given Lowther target
Burke looking to Curragh
Hanagan hails Taghrooda
Toormore drops in class for Lennox
27 July 2014Beacon shines over Molecomb rivals
Miss skips Galway for Goodwood
Tag crowned queen of Ascot
Muthmir delivers in Dash
Metal proves International star
Sheikh pounces for late score
Kingman poised for showdown
Kleo hits top gear for Cumani
Dettori strikes on Osaila
Bear grills Winkfield rivals
Yorkshire Oaks target for Volume
26 July 2014Taghrooda queen of Ascot
Elleval bids for Pomfret prize
Noble primed for German mission
O'Meara duo going International
Tag team happy to have a go
Telescope reaches for stars
Euro chasing dollar signs
Estimate given Goodwood entry
Pique Sous out for season
Secret chasing York success
Reason aiming to deliver in Dash
Remote on comeback trail