Fred made his third start for Nicky Henderson a triumphant one with a smart turn of foot to take the Get Your £1 Ladbrokes Free Bet Today Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton.
After finishing third on his two previous outings for the Lambourn handler, who claimed the race 12 months ago with Mister Fisher, the four-year-old appeared to appreciate a return to two miles when powering clear late on to defeat Ecco by four and a half lengths.
Henderson said of the 9-2 winner: “The last thing I said to Barry (Geraghty) when I legged him up was that he will love the track. I said to Anthony (Bromley, owners’ racing manager) last time, ‘I think you want to come back to these tracks’.
“Barry said he was outpaced a bit on the bottom bend, but as soon as he got him out he took off. He was good.
“We could do (come back for the Dovecote), as he likes the track.”
Commanche Red (4-1) defied concerns about soft ground with victorey in the Ladbrokes “Where The Nation Plays” Chase.
The Chris Gordon-trained six-year-old gained his second victory at the track with an eased-down nine-length success in the extended two and a half mile prize.
Joint-owner Richard Cheshire said: “We nearly pulled him out this morning as we think he needs good to soft ground, as opposed to it being on the softer side, but he clearly handled it.
“He won his bumper here beating the likes of Beakstown and some of his form was fantastic.
“I don’t know what Chris is thinking now, but we probably maybe should think about going for a graded race.”