Somemothersdohavem (6-1) booked his place in the JCB Triumph Hurdle when springing a minor upset in Doncaster's 32Red.com Juvenile Hurdle.
The John Ryan-trained gelding stormed to the front after long-time leader Aazif folded and stuck on well to score by two and a half lengths from King Of Dudes. Swnymor, the 1-2 favourite, was another half a length away in third.
Ryan said: "Whether we are punching above our weight or not I don't know, but the idea is to go to Cheltenham (for the Triumph). The test there will suit him, but whether he has ability to take them on I don't know. He has beaten decent horses today."
Swnymor is also an intended runner in the Triumph, despite his defeat. Trainer Tim Vaughan believes his first run since falling in the Finale Hurdle at Chepstow will have done him good.
"I didn't want to take him there on the back of a fall. He had a good blow and was a bit hesitant at his hurdles. The run will bring him on. We would have loved him to win here on the bridle, but he had missed a lot of work so hopefully he will be sharper for this," said Vaughan.
Permit holder Jessica Westwood is dreaming of Cheltenham after Monkerty Tunkerty, her only horse in training, put up a good performance to win the 32Red Casino Veterans' Handicap Chase.
Westwood set out from her Somerset base at 6.30am but it was a worthwhile journey as her 11-4 favourite shrugged aside a decent field of seasoned campaigners in just his fourth handicap to show he would not be out of place at the Festival, sticking to his task well to beat Marufo by two and three quarter lengths.
"He's my first runner here and he's my only horse in training.He's still learning and made a few mistakes because they went such a gallop and he's not used to that. It took five hours to get here but was definitely worth it. He's in the JLT Specialty and hopefully he will go there," said Westwood.
The John Ferguson-trained Purple Bay (even-money favourite) just held Wilde Blue Yonder by a head in the 32RedPoker.com Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race, and Ferguson said: "We'll see in a week about whether to think about Cheltenham. If not, there's always Aintree."
Dante's Storm (11-10 favourite) will try to improve on his fifth in the Foxhunter Chase two years ago when he returns to Cheltenham after a 10-length victory in the CGA Foxhunter Trial Hunters' Chase.
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Jim Crowley bowled over by Al Quoz Sprint hope Ertijaal
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Mags Mullins in no hurry to map out Debuchet plans
Enda Bolger hoping Aintree fences will fire up On The Fringe
23 March 2017Nigel Hawke continues hot streak at Ludlow
Sweet success for Bonbon at Cork
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22 March 2017BHA planning to toughen up licensing procedures for new jockeys
Tully East likely to head to Punchestown following Festival triumph
David Pipe looking to National duo to shine on Aintree stage
Dai Walters hoping to mount Mildmay challenge with Whisper
Arrogate drawn in stall nine for Dubai World Cup assignment
Sandra Hughes hoping Acapella can make Punchestown amends
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