Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh completed a double at Cheltenham when 5-4 favourite Dodging Bullets made virtually every yard in the Grade Two Opus Energy Novices' Hurdle.
Walsh was positive from the off aboard the Frankie Dettori-bred winner, but he looked to have a battle on his hands as there were five in with a chance at the last.
However, a sound leap from Dodging Bullets saw him land in front and he stayed on up the hill, finding the necessary extra to repel River Maigue by a length and a half. Court Minstrel was the same distance back in third.
Nicholls said: "He wants a fast-run race, he stays and this will have done him the world of good. He showed last year in the Triumph Hurdle that he's a classy horse, but he was just struggling with his breathing.
"We might go for the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day and then come back for the Supreme here - it's a long way off to start planning yet."
Earlier, Shooters Wood kept on gamely for Nicholls and Walsh to win the paddypower.com Handicap Chase.
Walsh was always in the front rank on the eight-year-old (7-1) as Arctic Ben tried to make all, and he looked well in control as they rounded the turn at the top of the straight. French raider Wetak tried to go with him, but he pecked on landing at the second-last and it looked as though the battle was over.
Tom Scudamore switched Wetak to the inside and he ran on again, but Shooters Wood stayed on grimly to prevail by a length and a half. Silver Roque claimed third, while 9-2 joint-favourites Astracad and Kid Cassidy failed to make an impact.
Nicholls said: "This lad's run a blinder. Ruby said he probably should have won on him at Taunton the last day. It was the first time he'd sat on him and he said he should have saved a bit. Today I knew Ruby would ride him a bit differently and save a little bit for the hill and it was perfect.
"I think left-handed tracks suit him better. He looks an out-and-out two-miler and I'm not sure what we will do with him now."
11 March 2014Vautour storms to Supreme success
No track worries for Sire team
Mullins to field three in JLT
Ferof features in Ryanair dozen
Leading duo top World field
Last and First in Gold frame
Injured Maguire out of Festival
Judgement day beckons for Fly
Curtis wants Scholfield for Tea
Que takes aim at Festival landmark
Irving strives to rule Supreme
Champagne in sparkling form
Sire spearheads Queen Mother entry
Confidence behind Conor
Special One bids for Champion glory
10 March 2014Maguire airlifted to hospital
Clouds lined up for RSA
Gold hopes fading for Topper
Ruby ready to Rock
Suspensory problem sidelines Chris
Mullins 'very happy' with Fly
Cooper raring to go after fall
National glee for supersub Mullins
Francome fancies New One revenge
Quinn targets another Triumph
Buck's primed for World title bid
Cheltenham team monitor ground
Fenton delays Instalment call
Activial to duck Festival mission
Hope springs eternal for Encore
Fab Fly takes on eight in Champion
9 March 2014Fall leaves Cooper 'badly winded'
Cooper warms up with double
Cooper warms up with double
Avenue roads lead to Irish Oaks
Dude's the main man
Top trainers reject watering
Hinterland takes Champion test
Baltimore sets up bonus bid
Warrior wins Trial battle
Fallon hits Meydan heights
Chartreux bounces back to best
Brave Vic has Final word
Soumillon strikes on super Shea
On His Own joins Gold Cup field
8 March 2014Queally hits Sandown target
Briar tops Bartlett contenders
Calipto leads Triumph hopefuls
Ginge fires burn brightly for Neild
Creek forced out of Gold Cup
Milan targeting Final glory
McCoy to miss Sunday and Monday
Exchange rate pays dividend
Temps doubtful for Festival
Conor settles in at Cheltenham
De Bromhead sweet on Special
Epsom to honour St Nick
Mullins dominates JLT entries
Al and Dynaste top Ryanair field
Big two lead World possibles