Ben Pauling appeared to unleash another smart type for the second year running in the Magpas Air Ambulance Novices’ Chase as Le Breuil made a winning debut over fences at Huntingdon.
Twelve months after landing the two-and-a-half-mile contest with Grade One winner Willoughby Court, the Bourton-on-the-Water handler took the same prize again as 1-9 shot Le Breuil brushed aside his sole rival Real Warrior by 18 lengths.
Pauling said of the six-year-old: “He always takes a run to get fit.
“I knew Real Warrior would try make it a test – and turning for home, he has had to have a shake of the reins. But class, as it should have, prevailed.
“He has always been a talented horse – but my God, he was magnificent jumping and he didn’t make a mistake the whole way round. In short and long, he was great.
“We will probably find another little event like that with him. We will keep going and hope he can get back up into the decent grade where I once thought he was.
“I’m hoping – with a clean run, as he has never been easy to keep sound – that he could be a very decent chaser.”
Owner Chris Stedman had arrived at the course more in hope rather than expectation – but it turned out to be a good day as he celebrated a double, highlighted by the victory of Darebin in the Macer Gifford Handicap Chase.
The extended two-mile prize looked to be at the mercy of Jackthejourneyman until the bottom weight chucked in the towel up the run-in and was picked up by the Gary Moore-trained six-year-old – who defeated Sad Eyed Dylan by two lengths.
Stedman, who owns the 7-4 winner with Mark Albon, said: “I thought he might get second, but he does stay on a bit.
“Josh (Moore) said the one that was leading at the last has got previous for pulling himself up. That is really sad, but I’ll take it.
“If you look at his previous form, his second race is usually good, and he normally needs his first race.
“It is fantastic to get two winners in a day. I’ve had a double at Plumpton before, and at Sandown when Vino Griego and Darebin won.”
Katpoli got the ball rolling for Stedman when making his first start in Britain for trainer Dr Richard Newland a successful one, winning by six lengths in the Cemetery Development Services Ltd Juvenile Hurdle.
Stedman said of the 13-8 winner: “We were not sure what to expect with him – because his two runs in France were nothing special, and he was a bit free in his second run.
“We were not massively hopeful, but I think all of Richard’s horses get backed. That was a pleasant surprise.”
Nicky Henderson’s Huntingdon runners always merit consideration, and Full Bore (10-11) gave the Seven Barrows handler a winner from his sole runner when he took the Computer Network Services Ltd Novices’ Hurdle by nine lengths.
Assistant trainer Toby Lawes said: “The step up to two and a half has helped, and (jockey) James (Bowen) said he would probably get further.
“He has been very green throughout his career – each run he learnt more and more.
“He jumped and travelled well. It was nice he got an even pace, which suited him.”