John Quinn believes Hidden Justice could be a lively outsider for the JCB Triumph Hurdle after he secured his second win over obstacles on a good card at Catterick.
The four-year-old beat a subsequent winner by 15 lengths on his hurdling bow at Wetherby in December and was a 4-5 favourite to follow up in the BHEST Racing To School Juvenile Hurdle.
Despite conceding weight to each of his eight rivals, Hidden Justice was always travelling powerfully in the hands of Dougie Costello and picked up well after the final flight to beat the well-backed Deepsand by five lengths. William Hill make the winner 20-1 from 33-1 for the Triumph Hurdle.
Quinn, who saddled Countrywide Flame to win last year's Festival contest, said: "I'm well pleased. He can only win, and Catterick wouldn't really be his track, but he was ready to run and we wanted to get some more experience into him.
"We'll definitely look towards the Triumph now. He's a horse who stays well and if the ground came up soft or softer then I think he'd have a real sporting chance. He is quite easy on himself at home, so if he comes out of today well we might look at the Victor Ludorum at Haydock (February 16) for him."
The European Breeders' Fund 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle was a particularly deep event for the track and it went to Jonjo O'Neill's raider Get Back In Line (2-1), who got the job done in style under Tony McCoy, beating King Of The Wolds by two and a half lengths.
Frank Berry, racing manager for owner JP McManus, said: "He ran a nice race the last day and has obviously come on for the run. He jumped well and travelled well and looked like he'd win it nicely, but it was workmanlike in the end. He should be a nice chaser one day."
O'Neill, McCoy and McManus quickly completed a double as a confidently ridden 11-4 favourite Kandari swept clear from the final fence to win the Dine And View At Catterick Races Handicap Chase.
Berry said: "He's not a straightforward horse and he can be a bit soft when push comes to shove. He's been frustrating and has let people down on a few occasions and Tony rode him like he has to be ridden. In a race like today's, he thinks he's a racehorse!"
James Ewart's Wilde Pastures (11-4) produced a fine front-running display to give conditional jockey Dale Irving his first winner under Rules in the Go Racing In Yorkshire Novices' Chase.
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