Arthur's Pass staked a late claim to be part of Tom George's Cheltenham Festival squad as he completed a hat-trick in the Corbett Sports Novices' Limited Handicap Chase at Ludlow.
The Slad handler is quietly preparing a decent team for the biggest meeting of the National Hunt season, with the likes of Mail De Bievre, Module and Olofi ready to strut their stuff next month.
A trip to Cheltenham will have seemed a mile away for connections of Arthur's Pass heading into the campaign after he missed last season with injury, but the absence appears to have done him no harm judged on his comeback results.
Following back-to-back triumphs at Leicester in January, the lightly-raced nine-year-old was the 5-4 favourite to beat two opponents in Shropshire and Paddy Brennan was happy to sit last of the trio for much of the two-and-a-half-mile journey.
The jockey made his move at the top of the home straight and he soon put the race to bed, safely negotiating the remaining obstacles to take the prize by an eased-down seven lengths from Kie, with Carrigmorna King third.
Arthur's Pass is a 20-1 shot for Cheltenham's Pulteney Land Investments Novices' Handicap Chase and could creep into that contest with a 5lb penalty for this latest win.
George said: "I'm delighted with him. He's done most of his racing over two miles, the step up to two and a half looks to have suited him and he looks as though he'll get a bit further as well.
"He had an injury a year or so ago and for that reason he's quite lightly raced. He still seems to be improving and if he gets in at Cheltenham and he comes out of this race in good form, we probably will let him take his chance."
Kellys Brow caused something of an upset when making a winning debut for the Charlie Longsdon team in the Bet At corbettsports.com "National Hunt" Novices´ Handicap Hurdle.
A dual winner for Donald McCain last summer, but pulled up on his final start for the trainer in October, Kellys Brow was a 14-1 shot on his first start for new connections. He ran out an decisive two-and-a-quarter-length winner from George's Big Society.
Longsdon said: "I must admit I am pleasantly surprised. On what he has shown me at home I thought Donald had done very well to get two wins out of him. I thought the handicapper probably had his measure, but I was obviously wrong, and he has done it well. A lot of ours tend to need the run as well, so I am surprised, but over the moon at the same time."
26 May 2015Double sets welcome mark for Gask
Haggas on War footing for Ascot
Rain would boost Sand Ascot dream
Oaks trip to suit Legatissimo
Coronation up Dolniya's street
Karaktar on track for French Derby
Punters' Pal Set For Musselburgh
Ribbons may cut a dash to Curragh
Simenon bids for Henry II rule
Gosden duo at ease for Brigadier
Derby duo gives Gosden glee
Found remains in Derby hat
Park satisfies in Epsom spin
Angel of the north has Royal aim
Treve delights Head-Maarek
Epicuris heads to Epsom
Fire lit up for Redcar gold run
Park set for Epsom 'sighter'
Karpino oozes class in Cologne
Limato set for Haydock weekend run
Moviesta pleases in Curragh spin
Leisure date for Lucky
Prince to step up
Cirrus likely to bypass Epsom
Ascot option for Devonshire
25 May 2015Limato set for Haydock weekend run
French ace Chop in line for Ascot
Pretty target for Tamadhor
Prolific Robin in foal
Ramone delights Farrell
Moore set for Shamal ride
O'Brien still has Derby puzzle
Air Force has lift-off on debut
Guineas glory for Pleascach
More Curragh Gold for Kazeem
Curvy holds off Canaletto
Super Solow takes Longchamp prize
Varian pleased by Belardo effort
Dirty scope blamed for Byron run
Ascot test for Time
24 May 2015Full steam ahead for Mast return
Mustajeeb sprints to it
Pearl's a sprint jewel for Barron
Tate springs Listed surprise
First Ascot chance for Crisford
Glen best miler we've had - O'Brien
Exciting options for Simcock ace
Muta grabs Bowl with late charge
No decision on replacement - McCoy
Harrington bids for Guineas glory
23 May 2015Mustajeeb sprints to it
Big-race options for Corsican team
Gagarin in orbit for Gallinule
Tudhope back for Force mount
Luck be a Lady for Burke
Gleneagles tees off at Curragh
Stars dazzles at Goodwood
Dettori receives golden ticket
Tudhope suffers Haydock blow
Gatsby in great form for Gold run
O'Brien banking on Found progress
Sole seeking home success
Remote makes Festival return
Force back for Temple test