Hang In There made most of the running to win for the second time over the smaller obstacles in the Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices’ Hurdle.
Successful at Exeter on his second start since being bought out of Mags Mullins’ stable for £60,000 in the spring, Emma Lavelle’s charge ran out a decisive winner of the Grade Two contest at Cheltenham.
The five-year-old shared pace-making duties with Eden Du Houx, before a good jump at the second-last flight gave Adam Wedge’s mount a handy lead over Pacify.
The pair had the race between them at that point, and Hang In There (6-1) did just that to win by three lengths.
Paddy Power gave Hang In There a quote of 33-1 for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Lavelle said: “He is an easy mover and I wasn’t sure about the ground, but he has handled this the same as he has handled better ground. He is always on the gas at home and is busy enough.
“He is all heart and he will keep fighting for you. Distance-wise I think we will stick to where we are, but I think he is a nice one. You have to say he acts on the track. To be in with a chance of these championship races over two miles you have got to be able to stay.
“He only just got beat in a two-and-a-half-mile novice at Fairyhouse before we bought him. We know he will get a trip, but he has got the pace as well. He doesn’t have to make it, but it is better to let him get on with it than fight it.
“He is an exciting prospect and has done nothing wrong. I suppose (could look at the Tolworth). We started off on good ground at Exeter, so I was expecting he would want better ground and he could be one that is versatile.
“I think for the minute we will see how he comes out of this and make a plan. Once you get to this stage the races pick themselves.”