Wishfull Thinking justified 8-11 favouritism in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham.
This two-mile heat lost much of its lustre following the defection of Sprinter Sacre, but it was hard not to be impressed by Philip Hobbs' inmate.
Despite having made a hash of the first fence, the Richard Johnson-ridden Wishfull Thinking jumped cleanly thereafter and had 18 lengths in reserve of Doeslessthanme at the line.
Hobbs said: "I'm delighted. The main problem for a long time has been his breathing - he's had three breathing operations. But this season he has been better with his breathing. We had a scare at the first fence, but he did it well. The Peterborough Chase (Huntingdon, December 13) is now the obvious race - that's definitely an option."
Johnson said: "We had a big scare but he jumped really well."
Coneygree made all of the running to win the Grade Two Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle. The Mark Bradstock-trained five-year-old (8-1) added to his gains at Uttoxeter earlier in the month with an eyecatching display from the front in the hands of Mattie Batchelor.
Batchelor said: "He's got a long way to go, but he'd almost give you a better feel than Carruthers. It wasn't a rubbish field - they are all there to be shot at. I jumped the last and he went away again."
Bradstock, whose inmate is a half brother to the 2011 Hennessy winner Carruthers, said: "It doesn't look much fun out there on the ground. It was a brave performance to go out there and make the running.
"He's a completely different stamp of a horse to Carruthers. Carruthers is only 16 hands and struggles to carry a big weight, whereas you'd hope this fellow could as he looks a proper chaser.
"You could look at either the two-and-a-half (Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle) or the three-miler (Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle) back here in March."
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Dai Walters hoping to mount Mildmay challenge with Whisper
Arrogate drawn in stall nine for Dubai World Cup assignment
Sandra Hughes hoping Acapella can make Punchestown amends
Vieux Lion Rouge leads Pipe's National assault
Clan Des Obeaux back in the groove at Exeter for Paul Nicholls
Robin Dickin gives Thomas Crapper Topham entry at Aintree
More Of That replaces Minella Rocco as Jonjo O'Neill's Grand National hope
Creggs Pipes blowing hot as Naas stages Flat curtain-raiser
Joseph O'Brien says Edwulf is 'absolutely perfect' and on the way home
Nico de Boinville says Might Bite has the appetite to show 'immense potential'
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21 March 2017Louisa Carberry to break new ground with first British runner at Newbury
Ch'Tibello set to seek Punchestown compensation for Cheltenham disappointment
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Jonjo O'Neill rules Minella Rocco out of Grand National
Jilly Cooper and Bob Champion the star guests at Raceform reunion
Bill Turner hoping late Brocklesby contender will emerge from small team
James Doyle set to continue Australian role with Godolphin
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Airlie Beach in contention for Fairyhouse prize
Ellmarie Holden planning chase campaign for Ex Patriot next term
Malcolm Jefferson to target Aintree with Arkle runner-up Cloudy Dream
Harrington sets sights on Punchestown Gold with Cheltenham hero Sizing John
Colin Tizzard biding his time on Finian's Oscar decision
Nicky Mackay set for lengthy spell on sidelines following Chelmsford spill
Colin Tizzard considering Bowl bid with both Cue Card and Native River
Aintree Hurdle option for Yanworth with chasing campaign on the horizon
20 March 2017Gary Moore has Punchestown or Sandown in mind for Ar Mad
Arrogate the headline act in Dubai World Cup field
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Fab five as Gordon Elliott dominates Navan card
Ben Pauling happy to draw stumps with Cheltenham hero Willoughby Court
Polished Kate Appleby Shoes ties Limerick rivals in knots
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Cheltenham launches security review after interloper joins Gold Cup celebrations
Warren Greatrex outlines Aintree aim for Cole Harden
No hurry for Harry Fry to map out post-Cheltenham plans
Fergal O'Brien planning racecourse spin for National hope Perfect Candidate
19 March 2017Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Sizing John returns home a hero
A Toi Phil lifts Webster Cup for five-star Gordon Elliott
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Carlisle abandoned due to heavy rain
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In-form Gordon enjoys further success
Richard Johnson hits treble top at Uttoxeter
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Max powers to Silver Bowl success at Kempton
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Heaven back with a bang at Kempton
Charlie Deutsch escapes serious injury in Cheltenham spill
Dodging Bullets retired by Paul Nicholls after Grand Annual run