Last season’s Grand National runner-up Magic Of Light continued on the road back to Aintree with a repeat success in the Thoroughbred Breeders Association Mares’ Chase at Newbury.
Third on her seasonal return in a Grade Two hurdle at Navan last month, the Jessica Harrington-trained eight-year-old made her return to fences a triumphant one with a facile victory in the Listed prize.
Having led from the outset, the 2-5 favourite looked to have a fight on her hands until Field Exhibition – who was a length down in second – departed at the last, leaving the market leader to cross the line a long way clear of Drinks Interval.
Winning rider Robbie Power said: “She was very lairy in front and wasn’t going as quick as I wanted to go. Early on she backed off her fences, which is expected after being around Aintree. She might have given herself one or two frights around there as well. That was ideal, it was a nice school around.
“The further she went, the better she went and when the other horse came to me she started to race and I was confident the whole way up the straight she would win, it was never in doubt.
“She absolutely pinged the last and galloped all the way to the line.”
Regarding future plans, the Gold Cup winning-pilot expects all roads to lead back to the Aintree showpiece, for which she was cut from 33-1 to 25-1 for by Paddy Power, while Coral left her unchanged at the same price.
Power – who later added a double through hugely impressive The Big Breakaway – said: “She won’t be seen until the new year and she might go back to Ascot for the mares’ hurdle she won last year, but I don’t know.
“She will have a similar sort of route she had to Aintree last year and Aintree will be the main aim again.”