Captain Conan made a good start to life over fences with victory in the Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial Novices' Chase at Cheltenham.
The Nicky Henderson-trained five-year-old (11-10 favourite), winner of the Tolworth Hurdle last season, jumped smoothly from the outset for Barry Geraghty, but found Sire De Grugy a willing foe.
There was little in it as the pair jumped the last in unison, but Captain Conan's bigger engine gave him a two-length advantage at the line.
Henderson said: "It's hard work in this ground, but I wouldn't be too worried about him in it. I think he's a two-miler - he's got a lot of speed. It was a very pleasing start and I'm delighted.
"I don't think he touched a twig but I would have been disappointed if he had. I looked after him last season and we didn't take him to Cheltenham (in March) because this is what we had been waiting for. We've got Simonsig to come and those are the two (Arkle horses)."
Jamie Moore, rider of Sire De Grugy for his father, Gary, said: "I was delighted with the way he ran, but he wasn't good enough and there are no excuses."
Anonis (25-1) claimed a keynote victory for Ireland in the Listed Cheltenham Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race. Trained by Mags Mullins, the six-year-old overcame a 605-day absence to defeat The Liquidator by five lengths under the County Kilkenny handler's son, Danny.
The winning handler said: "He's a good horse. I think a lot of him. He's a powerful galloper and has done everything I've asked from him at home. We might go for one more bumper, but it's up to Barry (Connell, owner) what we do next. It's great for Irish racing."
Double Ross (14-1) put his rivals to sleep from the front in the Paddy Power Intermediate Handicap Hurdle. The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained six-year-old made virtually every yard of the running under the Naunton handler's son, Sam, and continued to maintain a feisty gallop to the winning post.
Twiston-Davies snr said: "He was always in control - amazing, really. He'll go back novice chasing very soon but that was a hell of a consolation. We knew he'd love the ground."
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Northern aces face off in Cumbria
December date for Balding memorial
Murphy plagued by shoulder injury
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O'Brien outlines Breeders' plans
Deputy outgunned at Fontwell
Wetherby-bound Taquin to duck Power
Whisky chasing Power spoils
High hopes for Adelaide run
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Present sights set on Power prize
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New category for all-weather champs
Moviesta has sales date
National aim for O'Neill star
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Lewis eyeing Dubai success
Henderson handed Ascot role
Dandino misses Cup date
Panther 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
BHA moves to address small fields
Connell turns to Heskin
Integral to race on next year
21 October 2014Storm breezes to Exeter victory
Moore concedes title to Hughes
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