Nicky Henderson admitted Une Artiste would probably be forced to clash with four-time David Nicholson winner Quevega at Cheltenham as she advertised her own credentials in the 32Red.com Mares' Hurdle at Sandown.
The 7-4 shot was given a fine tactical ride by Barry Geraghty, who capitalised by kicking on early from the front and confirmed recent Wetherby superiority with runner-up Alasi by a length and three-quarters.
"Barry made the most of her in the soft ground, and there was nothing else the rest could do," said Henderson.
"We are getting to the point where we are going to have to go for (the David Nicholson), unless Quevega goes for the World Hurdle instead. I think there's another two-and-a-half (mile) race here later in the season too."
The 10-11 favourite Kentford Grey Lady was third, with trainer Emma Lavelle blaming the lack of pace.
Gary Moore and his son Josh pulled off a fairly big shock in the £32 Bonus At 32Red Casino Juvenile Hurdle.
The Paul Nicholls representative For Two went off the 1-3 favourite after showing promise on his British debut, but Daryl Jacob's mount could not find quite enough in a duel with Moore's 20-1 newcomer Knight Of Pleasure and gave best by two and a quarter lengths.
"He has always worked like a good horse but he had never seen a racecourse and I thought Paul Nicholls' horse would be good enough to beat him on ratings," said Moore.
"There are two obvious targets (Triumph Hurdle and a Grade One at Aintree), as I wouldn't think he would win a Fred Winter having beaten a horse rated 138."
24 July 2014Duo added to Irish Leger
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23 July 2014Feed company launches investigation
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22 July 2014Strangeway targets Galway riches
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21 July 2014Ebor the Clever choice for Cookie
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