Overturn (2-9 favourite) made a solid return to the fray in the 1stsecuritysolutions.co.uk Novices' Chase at Doncaster.
Donald McCain has patiently waited for better ground for the gifted nine-year-old, who leapt to prominence in the betting for the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival following a runaway victory at Sandown in November.
McCain's cautious approach was rewarded on Town Moor as Jason Maguire's mount galloped 25 lengths clear at the line.
Overturn, typically, jumped with exuberance from the outset, but had Conquisto for company until the sixth-last fence, when the odds-on favourite exerted authority. A flamboyant leap four out then helped put daylight between his nearest pursuer as McCain's inmate struck with plenty in hand.
McCain said: "He'll come back here for the Lightning Novices' Chase (on January 26). What he really wants is two miles and good ground and he'll be a sight to behold."
Reflecting on his performance, McCain said: "He's had a scoot round and he's quickened it turning in - that's Overturn. He jumped straight which was good to see as he had a tendency to go to his right over hurdles but there wasn't a glimpse of it. It was very pleasing.
"The spectacular jumps are great but they're for the wall, you want them to fiddle away, that's the thing that pleased Jason as even when he was wrong he fiddled away. It's another step down the road and it's out of the way.
"The first day of Cheltenham the ground is usually the soft side of good and he can cope with that but he will be a sight to be seen when he's tapping the planks from the moment he jumps off. That's just him, until you jump off and go as quick as you can from the moment you jump off you won't see the best of him.
"I respect Simonsig massively but we don't need to be scared of anyone. We'll come back here (for the Lightning) as it's back to two miles and you know you'll get just about the best ground in the country. That will give us plenty of time to Cheltenham."
Maguire said: "I'm delighted with that, he's jumped super. When all is said and done, it's two-miles-three on softish ground. He'll be better again on better ground when we can let him roll along."
21 February 2017Robert Havlin 'deeply upset and shocked' at six-month France Galop riding ban
Jerrysback looks smart in extending unbeaten record at Wetherby
Colin Tizzard hoping to have Thistlecrack back at Christmas after tendon shock
Ch'Tibello team hoping to make Champion date despite wind operation
Paul Nicholls keen on Politologue chance in JLT Novices' Chase
Saphir Du Rheu to target Gold Cup at Cheltenham
Thistlecrack out of Cheltenham Gold Cup - racing reacts
Gold Cup shock as Cheltenham favourite Thistlecrack ruled out for the season
Zarkandar set to take Stayers' Hurdle challenge at Cheltenham
Top mares Apple's Jade and Limini clash in Quevega heat at Punchestown
Evan Williams keen to tackle Adonis date with Evening Hush
Nine big guns to miss the Cheltenham Festival
Tendon injury rules Gold Cup favourite Thistlecrack out for the season
Paul Moloney to see specialist again as he continues shoulder injury recovery
Lil Rockerfeller on course for National Spirit defence at Fontwell
Sceau Royal and Footpad both set for Champion date for Munir and Souede
Terry Doherty picks up top prize at Stud and Stable Staff Awards
Tendon problem rules out Champion Hurdle bid for Superb Story
Shotgun Paddy and Raz De Maree in line for Eider Chase honours
Bristol De Mai team to 'roll the dice' and head for Gold Cup
Ground crucial to Cheltenham bid for Colin's Sister
Brian Ellison happy to take Arkle challenge with Forest Bihan
Arpege D'Alene still in the frame for four-miler at Cheltenham
Mutakayyef leads 11 in Winter Derby contention
Course specialist Tea For Two heads 20 left in BetBright Chase at Kempton
Colin Kidd maps out Aintree aim for Rashaan
20 February 2017Carlisle double delight for in-form Nigel Hawke
Will Biddick confirmed for Ask The Weatherman in Foxhunter at Cheltenham
Jockey Club prize-money boost for smaller tracks
Perfect Candidate ruled out of Eider mission by Fergal O'Brien
Regal Encore in Midlands National frame
Place gets home to complete five-timer in Boyne Hurdle
All-the-way Acapella Bourgeois enters RSA Chase picture after Navan romp
Don Poli and Outlander heading for Gold Cup
Cheltenham off the agenda for Identity Thief following setback
Ball D'Arc bounds to Flyingbolt success at Navan
Colin Tizzard set for nervous Cheltenham build-up
Blow for Paul Nicholls with Cliffs Of Dover out for rest of the season
Harry Fry rules out National Hunt Chase for RSA-bound American
Nicky Henderson still undecided over Whisper's Cheltenham target
19 February 2017Acapella hits all the right notes in Ten Up
Place gets home to complete five-timer in Boyne Hurdle
Setback rules Identity Thief out of Navan outing
Josses Hill heading straight to the Festival
'Job done' as Yanworth battles to Kingwell Hurdle victory
Lion roars to National favouritism with Haydock success
'Everything you want to see and more' - Cue Card thrills in Ascot Chase romp
Worlds End enters Cheltenham equation after Haydock triumph
Tombstone floors Jezki in Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park
Zarkandar back in front as Nicholls dominates Rendlesham
Bigbadjohn battles for Reynoldstown triumph
Beyond Conceit secures Cheltenham spot with Ascot success
18 February 2017Cue Card back to his brilliant best in Ascot Chase
Vieux Lion Rouge boosts Grand National claims at Haydock
Yanworth battles to hard-fought victory in Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton
Ballycasey takes Red Mills Chase honours at Gowran Park
Don Bersy bags biggest success yet at Haydock but Cheltenham off the agenda
Gary Moore hopeful of Ar Mad return before the end of the season
Sutton Place bids for Boyne honours at Navan
Identity Thief bids for Flyingbolt redemption following disappointing spell
Loughran hoping Acapella Bourgeois can hit Ten Up target
William Cox suffers broken jaw and Eoin Walsh breaks arm in Wolverhampton spill
Hamelin atones for stalls mishap with victory at Newcastle
Fairytale success for Captain Guy Disney in Royal Artillery Gold Cup at Sandown
Colin's Sister on track for Cheltenham after sizzling Sandown display
Bigbadjohn on Reynoldstown recovery mission at Ascot
Aux Ptits Soins in hurdling switch for Rendlesham test
Former two-mile king Jezki on trial for Cheltenham target
Cue Card primed for Ascot Chase bid
David Pipe hoping Lion can roar in Grand National Trial
Yanworth aiming to reign in Kingwell outing at Wincanton