Lalor was a heartening and hugely promising winner on his debut over fences in the Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham.
Kayley Woollacott’s six-year-old stable star transferred all his ability from hurdles to fences as he jumped with great accuracy to run out a seven-length winner from Dynamite Dollars.
Champion jockey Richard Johnson allowed Lalor to bide his time in a select field of five as favourite Claimantakinforgan and then Pingshou made much of the early running in the two-mile Grade Two contest.
But Lalor took over three out and then stayed on emphatically to win with ease at 11-2.
The winning trainer took over from her husband, Richard, after he died in January and on the gelding’s second subsequent run, he won the Grade One Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree.
On Lalor’s latest victory, Woollacott said: “It was just amazing – it’s the perfect start (over fences).
“Richard (Johnson) said he was a little bit brave over the first, and he looked a little novicey over a couple, but he really took to it quick, and his jumping was slick.”
She was too nervous to watch as the closing stages approached.
“I wasn’t watching by the second last,” Woollacott added.
“I saw he had got to the front – and that was it.
“It was a massive day at Aintree in April, (and) it was very overwhelming and got sucked in a little bit by everything else.
“But we had a proper break in the summer and this was in our own right – as a team we’ve done him ourselves.”
Her late husband had overseen Lalor’s early development, and she added: “It was his favourite horse and he said he would be the best thing we ever get our hands on – and it is great the owners still have him with me and allow me to do it.
“We will take our time, go home and reassess. This was a starting point and he has done it probably better than we thought he would.”
Dynamite Dollars’ trainer Paul Nicholls also has reason to be optimistic.
“He ran really well and he is progressive,” he said.
“To be fair to him, he only won two novice hurdles around small tracks and you wouldn’t have dreamt of taking on horses like Lalor over hurdles last year.
“But he has made a big step forward. He has jumped well and travelled well, and probably wants two and a half (miles).
“I think the winner is very good. (We) got a little bit outpaced and then stayed on strong, so I think two and a half would suit him better.”