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."
24 July 2016Convey delivers at Pontefract
Rookie trainer Robbie McNamara has Chadic fired up for Galway
Tis Marvellous surges to Papin glory for Clive Cox and Adam Kirby
Andrew Balding looking towards Solario date with South Seas
Gordon Elliott hoping Clarcam can rise to Galway Plate challenge
Clem Fandango team to bide their time following Super run
Ascot hero My Dream Boat enjoying summer break
Boynton tops 10 runners to take Vintage test at Goodwood
Time Test may have been below his best in York win feels Roger Charlton
Godolphin triple-handed in eight-runner Lennox Stakes at Goodwood
Alexios Komnenos team bide their time on future plans
Roger Charlton confident Fair Eva will handle distance increase
King George hero Highland Reel angling for world domination
Kimberella ghosts home for Dandy Nicholls in York Dash
Librisa Breeze blows hot to earn International honours at Ascot
Time Test fends off Mondialiste to claim York Stakes
Frankel filly Fair Eva dazzles in Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot
Apex King rules at Ascot on 'emotional' day for Eddery family
Lumiere to bypass Goodwood in favour of Deauville test
Prince Of Lir heads dual British raid on Prix Robert Papin
Emma Lavelle on weather watch ahead of Junction Fourteen Galway goal
23 July 2016Muthmir and Marsha headline King George Stakes entry at Goodwood
Ascot woe for Jamie Spencer as Namhroodah demoted in dramatic Valiant Stakes
Olivier Peslier - Really good chance for Dartmouth in King George
Charlie Appleby has Boynton booked for Vintage Stakes duty
Royal Ascot winner Persuasive unlikely to take Nassau chance
Impressive start for Kazimiera at Ascot
Roger Charlton tests Time in York Stakes
Marco Botti thinks Bahamas can shine in Pat Eddery Stakes at Ascot
Dean Ivory seeking International honours with Librisa Breeze at Ascot
Frankel filly Fair Eva ready to roll at Ascot
22 July 2016Ascot drama as Namhroodah demoted in Valiant Stakes
Leading Stewards' Cup contender Outback Traveller to miss Goodwood
Guy Harwood remembers motoring to the top with Dancing Brave
Big Orange ripe for Goodwood Cup defence
Godolphin give Antiquarium the chance to shine in Goodwood Cup
Royal runner Dartmouth strives for King George glory at Ascot
Aidan O'Brien considers Curragh comeback for US Army Ranger
Derby favourite Churchill digs deep to take Tyros Stakes
Promise To Be True still unbeaten after Silver Flash success
Pyromaniac to miss Galway Hurdle despite quashing of 'schooling' ruling
Frankie Dettori closing in on 3,000th winner
Leading Stewards' Cup contender Golden Steps to swerve Goodwood
Deauville as well as Goodwood an option for Lumiere
Classic stars on Goodwood collision course in Sussex Stakes
Martyn Meade sweet on Irish Rookie in Valiant Stakes at Ascot
Royal runner Dartmouth spearheads King George septet at Ascot
21 July 2016Jonathan Burke just denied on Limerick return
Smart entry for Park Stakes at Doncaster
On Her Toes proves fleet-footed to Star at Sandown
Mile-and-a-half test could see Ventura Storm take Leger chance
Stuart Williams hopes Royal Birth can deliver at Ascot
Marco Botti ponders German raid with Dylan Mouth
Time Test clocks in for York challenge
Ken Condon considers Irish Champion Stakes test for Success Days
Roger Varian makes 'heartbreaking' call to withdraw Postponed from King George
William Knight hoping for Goodwood rain ahead of Jackhammer Vintage date
Dawn delivers Bath glory for Oppenheimer
Toormore tops 14 contenders for Lennox Stakes
Middleham Park Racing swoop for Marco Botti duo Grendisar and Naadirr
Harry Dunlop taking patient approach with Robin Of Navan
O'Brien family field two of six bidding for Silver Flash glory
Churchill set Tyros test at Leopardstown
Urban Fox on the prowl for James Tate in Sandown's Star Stakes
Dermot Weld resists St Leger urge with Harzand