Didtheyleaveuoutto highlighted his potential when laying down a marker for next year’s Cheltenham Festival after landing the David Brownlow Charitable Foundation ‘Introductory’ Hurdle at Ascot.
The Nick Gifford-trained five-year-old maintained his unbeaten record over hurdles as he followed up his debut victory over obstacles at Fakenham last month in the extended one-mile-seven-furlong contest.
Produced with his run over the last by Barry Geraghty, the 9-4 shot got the better of a late battle with favourite and previously unbeaten Thomas Darby by a head.
The winner was cut to 14-1 for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle by Coral, while Paddy Power went 12-1 for the same race.
Gifford said: “I’ve always loved him. He is not spectacular at home and he just goes about his business. He just does enough.
“Barry said that would be as soft as he would want it. We will avoid deep winter ground. Where we go next – there is the Kennel Gate back here and he will have an entry for that, other than that we are scratching around.
“He jumps super. Certainly the first two are cracking horses. He has got turn of foot and he has come out on top, but it might be different on another day.”
Looking to March, Gifford said: “That would be the obvious race (Supreme), but he is very ground dependent. He is a speed horse and Aintree is a speed track, but there is only one Cheltenham.
“You would like to think he could do both as he won’t run through the mud in January and February.”
As for the runner-up, who was also cut to 12s for the Supreme by Paddy Power, his trainer Olly Murphy was delighted with his effort in defeat.
He said: “I’m proud of my horse. He is a big, green horse and we were in front jumping the last, were headed, then 50 yards past the line we were in front again.
“All my lad is going to do is improve. I wouldn’t swap him. He will come alive with sun on his back and spring ground.”