Silviniaco Conti further cemented his position as a leading contender for Cheltenham Gold Cup honours with a straightforward success in the Denman Chase at Newbury.
Rapidly progressive this season and arriving on the back of victory in the Charlie Hall Chase and a defeat of Long Run at Haydock last time out, the seven-year-old jumped three out in unison with The Giant Bolster and Mail De Bievre, who made a bold bid from the front on his British debut.
Silviniaco Conti (8-11 favourite) asserted going to the final fence and was quickly away from it, staying on well to see off last year's Gold Cup runner-up The Giant Bolster, to whom he was giving 4lb, by seven lengths.
Winning rider Ruby Walsh said: "Through the race he travelled well and jumped well. He quickened up well and joined Paddy (Brennan, on Mail De Bievre). He did well for a horse short of full fitness on quite testing ground. Paul (Nicholls) has not got him fully wound up. He has one race in mind.
"If he improves as much from the Charlie Hall as he did to the Betfair Chase he will run a big race in the Gold Cup. He's a gem. He's got plenty of scope. There's lots to like about him."
Nicholls added: "I said he wouldn't be fully wound up today, you wouldn't expect him to be. It was just what we wanted. He galloped well and stayed on strongly. It's on to Cheltenham now.
"He's done everything right. He's won a Betfair, he's won a Charlie Hall and he's won this now. He's a young, improving horse. Let him do the talking."
David Bridgwater, trainer of The Giant Bolster, is relishing another crack at the Gold Cup, in which he was second 12 months ago to Synchronised.
He said: "I'm chuffed to bits. Cheltenham is a different track and this is the one they want to be worried about. I can guarantee I have missed more work than the other horse."
Tom George, trainer of Mail De Bievre, who was just touched off for fourth by Junior, said: "I'm very happy with him. He's very exuberant and Paddy (Brennan) said with hindsight we should have run him over two miles. He's in the Ryanair, it's something to think about."
31 August 2015Turner calls time on riding career
Pendleton so close to dream success
Whitman lifts Trophy for Johnston
Haydock option for 'Frankel' winner
Hobbs stars in Kempton entry
Mullins hails 'legend' Hurricane
Hurricane Fly: Best moments
Super Fly bows out
Belardo has six appeal - Varian
Maguire making good progress
Channon seeks Divine intervention
Time called on Telescope career
More injury woe for unlucky Russell
Charline chasing Curragh cash
Balios finished for the year
Reason back in firing Line
Newton Abbot washed away
Beloved bounds to Supreme success
Ton-up for De Sousa
Approval for new Yarmouth track
Hint takes Cambridgeshire glory
Bocca back in business
Leger hope Sumbal beaten in France
Tower-ing performance from Williams
O'Brien works his Magic again
All eyes on Pendleton at Ripon
30 August 2015Beloved rules supreme at Goodwood
Arm injury woe for Russell
Beacon shines for O'Brien
Botti banks on Binzart
Harrington ponders Jack reverse
Tullius revved up for Joel Stakes
Speculative in frame for Ayr raid
Moon dazzling for Irish Leger bid
Ivory backs Twin to peak at Donny
Golantilla 'a natural' over fences
Flintshire strikes at Saratoga
Retirement considered for Pharoah
Cummings 'a giant of the sport'
Keen Ice claims Pharoah scalp
Racing lands Winter win
O'Brien family enjoys Wexford wins
Goodwood Celebration for Kodi team
Polybius takes Hopeful honours
Twisler on the march
Rene lands Goodwood riches
Maarek shoots to Bullet victory
Hawk swoops in Prestige
29 August 2015Death of top trainer Bart Cummings
Kodi Celebration for Cox
Deegan hopeful of good Sho
Titania looks to 'step up' in Dance
Gosden youngster impresses at HQ
Ascot date for Dartmouth
Bolger seeking Curragh Smash n grab
Death of northern stalwart Charnock
Ground key for Weld big guns
Panther pleases in Newmarket work
Icon eyeing Prestige prize
Buratino in Middle Park frame
Cox hoping for Kodi Celebration
28 August 2015Devonshire chasing deserved success
All-American hero taking next step
Ground key for Cape
Rock ready to roll at Windsor
Suzi's seeking Goodwood gold
Maarek aiming to fire in Bullet
Treble top for Weld and Smullen
Baker tempted by Woodbine for Bill
Memory poised for Haydock chance
Treve clash possible for Queen
Hills to make French Connection
Forgotten horse up for Irish Leger
Bear a necessity in Celebration
Pallasator in Cup mix at Doncaster
Lynam sprinters Flying first class