Simonsig drained the pressure from a tense Nicky Henderson with a flawless novice chasing initiation at Ascot to become an even shorter-priced favourite for the Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival.
It soon became a matter of Simonsig (2-9 favourite) against the fences, as three of his four rivals in the Grade Two Betfred Novices' Chase departed at the first two obstacles entering the final circuit, and Sulpius was soon struggling to keep pace himself.
This was Simonsig's first outing since Aintree in April and he was visibly straining at the leash, so Barry Geraghty let him loose leaving Swinley Bottom in the back straight and he had a cut at a few fences before coasting some 49 lengths clear.
Henderson said: "I suppose we haven't learned much, but we know he can do this now. He will be an awful lot better when going a shade quicker, but Barry did let him go and jump them.
"This was as good a novice hurdler as I've seen in a long time and we seriously thought about him being a Champion Hurdle horse, but after a long talk over the summer we decided to send him chasing."
The trainer stopped short of comparing Simonsig with his beloved Sprinter Sacre, last season's Arkle hero, as he said jumping came "so easily" to the Champion Chase favourite, but the grey still takes very high rank.
He went on: "He's in the Wayward Lad on the 27th (at Kempton on Thursday). I'd say it's unlikely, but I'm not ruling it in or out. Remittance Man won at Leicester on a Tuesday so easily that we ran him again at Newbury on a Saturday and he won by something like 25 lengths."
Queen Mother and Arkle winner Remittance Man actually took this very race back in 1990, as well as following up in the Wayward Lad.
Geraghty added: "That was very much mission accomplished. He got the revs up at one or two but listened to me every time, and he was foot-perfect at the last three. You couldn't ask for much better around a track like here.
"He's a two-miler, not a three-miler. I wasn't bothered he was a little bit keen, that's what you want with a good horse."
5 July 2015'Diamond' Ainippe delights Lyons
Another German Derby for Schiergen
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Tonto earmarked for York date
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Kurland set for Newmarket return
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Blond shows her true colours
Notarised lands Newton prize
Basem proves up to Challenge
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Cymro claims Haydock honours
Maria added to Falmouth field
4 July 2015Horn calls the tune in Eclipse
Tiana takes Oaks triumph
Flash fires home
Majestic vies for Fairyhouse rule
Geraghty back in business
Walsh indebted to king Kauto
Angel confirmed Sandown non-runner
Doyle and Johnston shine at Sandown
Johnson scorches to fastest fifty
Windshear up for the Cup
Muhaarar in great form - Hills
Chantilly off the radar for Test
Gatsby sets sights on Horn
Queen aiming to reign in Oaks
Gosden respects Golden rivals
3 July 2015Cyclone set for Leopardstown outing
Waady aiming to step up
Angel major Sandown doubt
Strong Gosden hand at Newmarket
Doyle up for the Challenge
Sandown team mull watering plans
Kazeem on comeback trail
Lennox option for Limato
Magnificent seven for Elliott
Pendleton thrilled with first ride
Balding hoping for Park August run
Kirby unscathed in house fire
Pilot charters path to York
Provenance has claims on Sandown
Soapy out to slay Dragon rivals
Spencer rides Gatsby in Eclipse
Space considered for Ascot return
2 July 2015Creighton discharged from hospital
Postulation checks in at Belmont
Charming thoughts turn to Doncaster
Deauville date for Diamond
Mecca's takes Thirsk honours
Dods waits on Angel decision
Soumillon takes Certain ride
Mile on Spear radar
September aim for Tryster
Cup aim for Arab
Time out for Hannon aces
Close encounter excites Doyle
Island to drop in grade