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."
24 November 2015Further funding secured for Great British Racing International
Dan and Harry Skelton hit Lingfield double
Emma Lavelle sets sights on chase campaign for Closing Ceremony
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No More Heroes heads Drinmore contenders at Fairyhouse
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Emma Lavelle outlines Ascot aim for Junction Fourteen
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Jonjo O'Neill set to ease Holywell in grade
Coneygree forced out of Hennessy after schooling session
Evan Williams pinpoints two options for "frustrating" Buywise
Potters Legend to be sent hurdling by Lucy Wadham
Harry Fry excited by prospect of seeing Bitofapuzzle over fences
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Medicean Man back in business at Chelmsford
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Former jockey Darren Egan disqualified following corruption hearing
International mission at Cheltenham for Peace And Co and My Tent Or Yours
Vroum Vroum Mag stars in Carlisle weekend entry
Morello Royale denies Polly in Kempton Listed affair
Vaniteux makes victorious start to chasing career at Kempton
Coneygree stands firm at top of Hennessy field
Wicklow Brave and Identity Thief added to Fighting Fifth field
23 November 2015Victoria Pendleton closes in on point-to-point ride this weekend
Brain powers to Kempton victory for Nicky Henderson
Cheltenham and Navan options for Robbie Hennessy's Rubi Light
Alvarado on Grand National trail again
Rebecca Curtis eyeing King George option for Irish Cavalier
Barry Connell confirms hurdles plan for Cheltenham winner Martello Tower
Willie Mullins expecting 'cracking' King George with Vautour
Monksland in Drinmore picture after Gowran win
Well-connected Augusta Kate scores for Alan Shearer and company
Troytown glory for Riverside City and Jack Kennedy
Douvan delivers on chasing debut at Navan
Falcon Crest impresses in Monksfield victory
Woodland Opera books big-race ticket with Navan success
Coneygree back on Hennessy trail after delighting in Sunday gallop
Ptit Zig connections mull Vautour King George rematch
22 November 2015New sponsor to be sought for Cheltenham Gold Cup
Owner Barry Connell confirms Hatton's Grace aim for Gwencily Berbas
Betfair announced as new Tingle Creek Chase sponsor
Ryan Moore steers Maurice to Kyoto Grade One triumph
Tom George eyeing Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon for God's Own
Race Day secures Finals place with victory at Lingfield
Returning Vautour battles to Ascot victory for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh
Cue Card claims Betfair Chase glory at Haydock to set up bonus bid
Meade delight as Monksland makes winning debut over fences
Rock On Ruby sparkles for Harry Fry in Coral Hurdle at Ascot
Baradari lands 'Fixed Brush' riches at Haydock
Irving takes Haydock honours for Paul Nicholls
Emperor's Choice reigns on return to action at Haydock
American gives connections plenty to dream about as he opens account
21 November 2015Plans on hold for Annie Power after the brilliant mare suffers a setback
Cue Card stars in Betfair Chase at Haydock
Willie Mullins' Vautour successful on Ascot reappearance
Baby King gives Paddy Brennan perfect start with victory at Haydock
Sandra Hughes wary of Navan ground for Troytown hope
Ruby Walsh keen to see Douvan over fences at Navan
Gordon Elliott sets sights on Troytown repeat
Ed Dunlop heartbroken by loss of Red Cadeaux
Gary Moore enjoys double success on racecourse return
Harry Fry hoping for dry run with Rock On Ruby
'Quick and slick' Simonsig delights Nicky Henderson in schooling session
'Exciting' Douvan all set for chasing debut at Navan
Warren Greatrex hopeful Shantou Bob has plenty in his favour for Fixed Brush
Irving primed for clash with Top Notch at Haydock
Gary Moore: Sire De Grugy more like his old self and heading to Sandown
Colin Tizzard taking his Cue from Card in Betfair Chase
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