A week laced with sadness for owner JP McManus, trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Tony McCoy culminated with a fortifying boost for each of them as My Tent Or Yours took Newbury's Betfair Hurdle with an ease rarely witnessed in a major handicap.
The team had been dealt crushing news on Monday when their Champion Hurdle hope Darlan, by coincidence a faller when looking the winner of this race 12 months ago, died at the final flight of a trial at Doncaster.
So impressive was the performance of the novice My Tent Or Yours, who carried the hopes of many as 5-1 favourite as he cruised five lengths clear of Cotton Mill, that speculation abounded that he could be supplemented for the Champion Hurdle itself.
Introduced at 8-1 by Ladbrokes, it was not a decision taken by connections at the time.
The six-year-old, purchased by McManus for this season on the suggestion of his retained jockey McCoy, only had three starts in minor novice hurdles to his name but could be picked out as the obvious winner from some way out as he crept along the inside rail.
Henderson said: "It was a funny race. You expect a furious gallop in these competitive handicaps and I was amazed how they went. He could quicken up in that ground, but I've always thought the better the ground, the better he would be."
The Seven Barrows handler was asked about the prospects of My Tent Or Yours heading for the Champion, and he said: "I hadn't thought about it. He's in the Supreme and that would be the obvious one. I know JP has Jezki in the race, but it all comes down to JP.
"To lose one as we did - Darlan should have won this last year - but to find another one who looks as if he has the potential to go to the top is a big, big boost. It has been a difficult week and we've had to rally the troops and pick ourselves up.
"We've been amazed by the support we've had. Nobody loves his horses more than JP, and AP was absolutely shattered. We all hoped Darlan was a Champion Hurdle horse. To find another that looks capable of going to the top table, there's a bit of justice in it."
McCoy, who rode a winner at Warwick earlier, said: "To win a handicap off 149 is a good performance. He's a good horse, I thought that the first day I sat on him. I schooled him and I said to Nicky there's only one thing wrong with this horse - he's in the wrong colours. I recommended to the boss to get him."
16 April 2014Leather in frame for Jockey Club
Tropics warming to Abernant task
Judge lays down law in Sefton
Toormore on trial in Craven
All eyes on Strauss at Newmarket
Ridge out to peak at Newmarket
Eduard camp look to the future
Mohammed outlines Educate plans
Dreaper duo on National service
Scott learns Melodic lesson
Bobs Worth unlikely for Punchestown
Williams - Buy needs to Wise up
Fly on track for more records
Arod team take cautious approach
Obliterator ready to roar for Lyons
Night camp favour French Guineas
Free and easy for 'forward' Medinah
Fahey braced for Sand storm
15 April 2014Minstrel a Punchestown possible
Joe considered for Cork encounter
Toormore the star turn in Craven
Inch edges closer to Oaks bid
Appleby backs Ring to fire
Oliver wants more from Set To Go
Double tops for Easterby
Varian - Hill in peak form
Hawk has eyes on Lingfield prize
Doyle in awe of Kingman engine
Art given Victoria target
Ground key to Thakhira Classic aim
Cyclone heading for Punchestown
Hopes still high for Hydrogen
Botti in no rush with Hawill
Soumillon booked for Spanish raider
Obliterator takes Newmarket trial
14 April 2014Taaffe ponders Argocat options
Meain machine set for Punchestown
Competitive field for Nell Gwyn
Curragh workouts delight O'Brien
Inis all the way in Listed heat
Sruthan away to winning start
Burke keen on Rivellino claims
Ground key to Cubanita plans
Derby entry Ectot shows class
Back to sprinting for Astaire
Berkshire team mull options
Millman relishing Carpenter future
13 April 2014Newmarket ground pleases Prosser
Golden Wonder states Classic case
Rock rolls to Ballysax success
Eduard one for the future
Scottish glory for Bowen and Co
Spencer strikes on Kaka
Sparrow takes flight at Ayr
Kingman new favourite for Guineas
Estimate easing her way back
Stack star set for Alleged return