Rouge Vif dominated from the front in the Edinburgh Gin Premier Kelso Novices’ Hurdle.
A field of six runners went to post for the Grade Two contest and the star attraction was the Paul Nicholls-trained Getaway Trump – turning out just a fortnight after finishing fourth in the rearranged Betfair Hurdle at Ascot.
On the strength of that form the Somerset raider was the 8-11 favourite in the hands of Harry Cobden, but it was clear some way from home that it was not going to be plain sailing.
The Harry Whittington-trained Rouge Vif was runner-up to the high-class Mister Fisher at Kempton on Boxing Day and having justified cramped odds on his latest outing at Newcastle, he was a 7-2 chance stepping up in grade.
Gavin Sheehan steadily raised the tempo in front and he had all of his rivals in trouble from the home turn.
Rouge Vif skipped over the final flight and galloped all the way to the line to score by four lengths, with Windsor Avenue narrowly beating Elvis Mail to the runner-up spot.
Getaway Trump was ultimately well-beaten back in fourth – a second odds-on reverse on the card for Nicholls following Black Corton’s defeat as the 30-100 favourite in the preceding Belhaven Brewery Premier Chase.
Whittington told Racing TV: “He’s a horse we hold in high regard. He was meant to go to the Dovecote at Kempton last Saturday but missed that because he had a bruised foot.
“On Monday morning he was absolutely fine, he’s been in great form all week and I thought the track would really suit us.
“He’s got speed but he also stays well – he’s improved with every run.
“He likes a flat track. He’s in the Supreme (Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham) and we’ll discuss it this week, but we’ve always thought of him as more of an Aintree horse.”