Nicky Henderson further strengthened his hand in the novice hurdling department as Utopie Des Bordes made a successful British debut at Doncaster.
Winner of a Grade One chase in France, she made her introduction in the 32Red Casino Mares´ Novices´ Hurdle over an extended two miles.
Barry Geraghty was keen to keep her covered from the fierce headwind in the home straight and there were still four in with a chance jumping the final flight. In the end, the 4-11 favourite beat Call Me A Star, who was conceding 6lb to the winner, by two lengths, with 66-1 chance September Blaze another two lengths adrift at the line.
"She's not very quick but there have been so many mares' races rained off we had to get her out and it just so happened this race was over two miles," said Henderson.
"She'd been running in staying races in France where she had 18 runs in 14 months so we gave her a break. There's a mares' Listed hurdle over two and a half miles at Sandown on Friday week that she'll go for next. As she's still a novice, we don't have to send her for the David Nicholson (OLBG Mares' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival) this year."
Henderson and Geraghty soon doubled up with the promising Minella Forfitness in what could prove to be an informative £32 Bonus At 32Red.com Maiden Hurdle.
The 2011 November Handicap scorer Zuider Zee and dual Cesarewitch hero Aaim To Prosper were with the eventual winner all the way up the home straight but it was the former point-to-pointer who stayed on strongly.
A good leap at the last settled matters for the 11-4 joint-favourite, who ran out a two-length winner from Zuider Zee, who shaped well first time over hurdles.
"He was pretty keen and at halfway I thought I'd made a mistake stepping him up in trip," said Henderson.
"Barry said he wasn't as keen as he looked, though, and looking at the race you'd say the first three were much the best. He wants this trip, but Aintree could be more his place than Cheltenham."
4 December 2016Eddie Harty has long-term dreams for Coney Island after Drinmore glory
Impressive Josses Hill takes Peterborough prize at Huntingdon
Apple's Jade pips Vroum Vroum Mag in Hatton's Grace thriller
Prolific Airlie Beach bags Grade One glory in Royal Bond
Ar Mad in line to be supplemented for the King George at Kempton
Landofhopeandglory still unbeaten over hurdles after Fairyhouse battle
Gordon Elliottt eyeing Leopardstown outing for Ucello Conti
Ballyandy providing Nigel Twiston-Davies with campaign quandary
Stuart Edmunds eyeing Ascot compensation for Wolf Of Windlesham
Yanworth enters International and Christmas reckoning
Ludlow call precautionary check
Kelso gets the go-ahead
As De Mee gives owner Dame Judi Dench a winner over the National fences
Un De Sceaux just betters Sire De Grugy in Tingle Creek epic
National hero Many Clouds back in business at Aintree
Kempton the next stop as Altior bandwagon gathers pace at Sandown
Vieux Lion Rouge denies Highland Lodge repeat success in Becher thriller
Cole Harden second on fencing debut as Its'afreebee comes out on top
Unbeaten Airlie Beach seeking Grade One gold in Royal Bond
Vroum Vroum Mag revved up for Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse
Mouse Morris gives Alpha Des Obeaux a squeak in Fairyhouse Grade One
3 December 2016Evening Hush makes big noise at Aintree
BHA withdraws disciplinary charges against Martin Harley
Festival winner Martello Tower off the mark over fences at Fairyhouse
Triumph Hurdle favourite Landofhopeandglory faces Fairyhouse test
More Of That on recovery mission in Peterborough Chase
Precautionary inspection for Kelso Sunday fixture
Waitaki gives Pat Smullen a winning send off at Dundalk
Classy Messire Des Obeaux fires for Alan King at Sandown
The New One set to take on International Hurdle assignment
Faugheen earmarked for Christmas comeback
Oliver Sherwood 'very happy' as National winner Many Clouds returns to Aintree
Noel Fehily bowled over by Sandown-bound Altior
National king Mouse Morris on Aintree reconnaissance mission with Rogue Angel
Vroum Vroum Mag leads Hatton's Grace team for Willie Mullins
Ground poser as Un De Sceaux takes Tingle Creek test at Sandown
Henry de Bromhead has John Durkan target for Sub Lieutenant
2 December 2016Joseph O'Brien claims Dundalk success for Qatar Racing
More Buck's in the money at Sandown
Classy Messire Des Obeaux fires for Alan King at Sandown
Alan King rules at Sandown with Messire Des Obeaux
Exeter Friday card falls victim to frost
No problems for day one of Tingle Creek meeting at Sandown
Crafty Roberto back to winning ways at Market Rasen
Highland Lodge geared up for Becher repeat
Hilly Way beckons for Douvan as Un De Sceaux picks up Tingle Creek gauntlet
Arctic Skipper angling for Lexus honours at Leopardstown
Tully East makes perfect start as Bachasson falters at Thurles
'Big day' for The New One as chasing bow beckons at Exeter
Coeur Blimey makes hurdling debut at Sandown for Sue Gardner
Trevor Whelan withdraws appeal against Leicester suspension
Native River to have light campaign before Gold Cup
1 December 2016Precautionary inspection called for Sandown
Douvan gloom for ante-post punters as Un De Sceaux heads to Sandown
The Last Samuri spearheads Becher Chase charge at Aintree
Mouse Morris considers Cork return for Mozoltov
Exeter takes precautions against threat of frost
Frozen Wincanton abandons Thursday fixture
Ruby Walsh describes Douvan Tingle Creek price as 'crazy'
Brian Hughes booked for The Last Samuri in Becher test
Super Sam spearheads Deutsch double as Twiston-Davies is denied
Henry Brooke completes swift injury recovery with fourth place at Catterick
Brian Hughes ends notable November with Catterick glory
Sam Twiston-Davies second on Ffos Las return
Martin warns Heartbreak City 'more doubtful than likely' to run at Huntingdon
French stayer Alex De Larredya on track for Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot
Jim Crowley receives Scarlet Dragon call-up for Qatar mission