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."
31 October 2014Lady proves a champ
Dettori works Breeders' Cup magic
Day to remember for Ellison
Johnson remains under observation
Conti chasing second Charlie Hall
Terror scares Newmarket rivals
Filleule faces Champion test
Terror scares off Newmarket rivals
Sgt far from Reckless at Uttoxeter
Little King wears Down Royal crown
Nicholls goes on Charm offensive
Fishers angling for Wetherby prize
Lavelle star Bec in business
Weld out to break new ground
Osborne ready to 'roll the dice'
Dank bids to sign off on a high
Turf glory in sight for Telescope
Red Ed upbeat about Cadeaux
Aktabantay out of Breeders' Cup
Tearless secures Good Friday ticket
Overnight stay for Johnson
Crawford banks on Izzini progress
Toast could make Spencer think
Road charts route to Royal riches
Grece excels at Saint-Cloud
Hawk given Greatwood option
Hannon: Early speed key for Osaila
30 October 2014Tearless takes Lingfield honours
Johnson taken to hospital
Royal summons for Apache
Bowe takes aim at WKD bullseye
Hootenanny 'smoking' for BC mission
Avenue roads lead to Newmarket
Shu to be kept busy
Scu sweet on Sensation Ascot raid
Murtagh succumbs to Cup charms
Dandino to stay in Australia
Glance denied Mackinnon defence
Bailey ace rules Supreme at Taunton
O'Brien hit by Magician blow
Diablo in big-race picture
Buckley raises Toast to Osborne
Pastille seeking four-timer
Conti all set for Charlie Hall
Barnes out to storm Saint-Cloud
Williams issues Buywise warning
Lynam reveals Slade stalls fears
29 October 2014Lame Magician out of Breeders' Cup
Diablo in big-race picture
Mullins enters strong Hennessy team
Damaged hock behind Estid reverse
Eckhart team rocked by injury blow
Hunt Ball makes Power play
Morgiana a T bone of contention
Kirby ponders Buttons French raid
Glance camp turn to Williams
Wohler trusts 'professional' Moore
Red alert to Cup challenge
Head targets more Mile glory
Mile hope Toronado in 'great form'
Telescope camp banking on Moore
Twiston-Davies link excites Moore
Flying third to Bob on hurdling bow
Harden to test top staying waters
Godolphin take share in Belardo
Mullins has big guns at Down Royal
Annacotty set for Kempton return
Powell and Bradley cleared
28 October 2014Fingal camp on weather watch
More injury woe for Popham
Dickin unveils Thomas gameplan
Power stalls in Flemington spin
Toast drawn nine in BC Classic
My Ambivalent passed fit by vets
Harry out to bring House down
Three and easy for ton-up Hanagan
Wood carves out Galway verdict
More Of That in Wetherby frame
Big guns confirmed for Charlie Hall
Byron pencilled in for Far East