The Package staked an early claim for the Hennessy Gold Cup as he fought off Michel Le Bon to land the Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase at Wincanton for David Pipe and Timmy Murphy.
The nine-year-old cruised to the front approaching the cross-fence five out, and from then was always in charge, even though Ruby Walsh and Michel Le Bon never gave up the chase. The winning distance was three and three-quarter lengths.
Pipe said of the David Johnson-owned winner: "He's really a Grand National horse, but he's in the Hennessy and we'll have to look at that. He's always been a very good horse, and Timmy has ridden a perfect race, although the ground was probably softer than ideal."
Murphy played his part in the triumph as he pre-trained The Package in the summer. The jockey said of the 5-1 winner: "He came to me after Cheltenham and I got the pre-training into him.
"As a young horse he would be too keen and do too much, but at the moment he's beautifully settled."
Fairy Rath was gameness personified in making every yard of the totepool Mobile Text Tote To 89660 Handicap Chase.
The Nick Gifford-trained six-year-old ran virtually to the pound with Henry San as he turned round recent Chepstow placings with that rival under Denis O'Regan.
Fairy Rath (5-1) is owned by talk show host Jeremy Kyle's wife, Carla, who was in Barbados watching the race with top owner Andy Stewart. Kyle was on a flight from New York to Barbados so missed the race.
9 December 2016Village Vic ready to defend Caviar crown at Cheltenham
Black Caviar filly Oscietra looks the part in Flemington jump out
Cause for optimism for Skelton team as Toujours dominates at Warwick
Greatrex considering Festival route with La Bague Au Roi
Jim Dreaper looking forward to cross country test with Goonyella
Tizzard on weather watch for Native River's Welsh National bid
Graham Gibbons stands down after being accused of swapping Kempton sample
Petit Mouchoir and Valseur Lido on course for Christmas appearances
O'Brien hoping home comforts bring out the best in Perfect Candidate
Supreme fancy Crack Mome opens his account at Clonmel
Taquin Du Seuil misses Cheltenham date as 16 hunt Caspian Caviar Gold
8 December 2016Frankie Dettori hails Abdul Kareem Musa Adam after aspiring jockey claims award
Tony Martin in no rush to firm up future plans for exciting Anibale Fly
BHA investigating after Graham Gibbons accused of swapping Kempton sample
Michael Bell pleased with Hong Kong Vase draw for Big Orange
Graham Gibbons accused of swapping Kempton urine sample
Henry Brooke celebrates first winner since return to riding after injury
Ten Sixty adds up for Richard Johnson at Leicester
Jonathan Burke keen to 'draw a line under 2016' after fresh injury blow
Nicky Richards considering options for Eduard
Cole Harden pointed towards return to three miles
Leading fancy Minella Rocco taken out of Welsh National
Clondaw Warrior drops in class for Clonmel return
Eddie Harty mulling options for Drinmore hero Coney Island
Warren Greatrex eyeing Cheltenham outing with One Track Mind
7 December 2016Tony Martin in no rush to map out Heartbreak City hurdles campaign
Champers sparks Uttoxeter celebrations with winning chase bow
Peace News returns unscathed following Fairyhouse fall
Yanworth set to swerve International date in favour of Christmas challenge
Douvan heads Hilly Way dozen at Cork
Warren Greatrex issues Aloomomo warning to punters
Willie Mullins leaves big guns in John Durkan
Newbury confirm Hennessy sponsorship to end
Simply Ned on course for repeat Leopardstown bid
Colin Kidd prepares Rashaan for New Year return to action
6 December 2016Jim Best case result to be announced on Monday
Sir Anthony McCoy would split up Tizzard aces at Kempton
Joseph O'Brien biding his time with Landofhopeandglory
County Hurdle runner-up Fethard Player in line for back-end campaign
Neil Mulholland still has Festival plan for Shantou Village
No problems for Uttoxeter
Nick Alexander dominates Ayr action as Marlee Massie highlights treble
Newly-crowned champion Jim Crowley gallops away with jockey award
Fergal O'Brien sets sights on Sandown compensation for Alvarado
Gracious John stars in Lingfield treble for Egan
Ruby Walsh raises Ascot possibility for Un De Sceaux
Taquin Du Seuil tops 19 contenders hunting Caviar Gold
James Moffatt hoping Highland Lodge effort will secure National date
Many Clouds Lexus bid under serious consideration from Oliver Sherwood
Smad Place lined up for Cotswold repeat by Alan King