Son Of Camas looks set to be pitched into Grade One company after making it two wins from as many visits to Newbury in the Ladbrokes ‘Where The Nation Plays’ “National Hunt” Maiden Hurdle.
Winner of a bumper at the Berkshire course last time out, the Nicky Henderson-trained four year old followed up to get off to the perfect start over hurdles.
Racing prominently throughout, the 3-1 shot found enough to lower the colours of the previously unbeaten King Roland by a length.
Henderson said: “He has got a very good attitude to life, this horse. He is very professional and he showed that last time.
“I was going to go straight over hurdles with him, but he was so naive about life I thought I’d let him have a bumper to learn about racing, so actually it has worked out well.
“We were talking about the Tolworth and that is something you could think about.
“Noel Fehily reminded me he won this race on Buveur D’Air, but I wouldn’t read too much into that yet.”
Fanion D’Estruval (6-1) had owner David Wilson lost for words after completing a four-timer on his British debut in the Ladbrokes Chase, to receive quotes of 20-1 for the Arkle Trophy with the race sponsor and Coral.
Wilson, who has lived in France for the past 25 years, said: “This is the first horse I’ve owned and I’m sure it will be the last horse I own. I can’t repeat this.
“This means a lot to me and is enormous – I’m lost for words. It is more than realising a dream, it is something I thought would be impossible. I’m just so delighted it has happened.”
Winning trainer Venetia Williams added: “We kind of hoped he would do that and we have been getting quietly excited at home.
“I tend to have a reputation for having slow horses over long distances, so it’s nice to have one with a bit of pace like he has.”
History repeated itself as Oldgrangewood gained his first win since landing the Get Your Ladbrokes £1 Free Bet Today Handicap Chase in 2017 when getting up on the line in the two-and-a-half-mile prize to defeat Grade One winner Kalashnikov by a nose.
Trainer Dan Skelton said of the 6-1 winner: “It has been very frustrating, but everyone has hung in there and he has turned up again.
“A lot of people were giving me too much credit saying I’ve got him here 10lb lower, but that hasn’t been the plan. The long-term target for him is the Scottish National.”
Oliver Sherwood can take aim at bigger and better prizes with Sevarano (13-2) after the six-year-old continued to make up for lost time when defying a penalty in the Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boosts Novices’ Hurdle.
Sherwood said: “He is a proper horse. He had issues last year and we found out he had some deep-seated ulcers, so we have had to treat him. He has physically matured. Upping him in trip has helped.
“The Challow is a very hot race and I’ve been lucky enough to win it with The Breener, Large Action and Berude Not To. I want to sit on the fence, but it’s a possibility.”
Top-weight Champers On Ice landed the concluding Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle for David Pipe and Tom Scudamore.
Raised 5lb for a comeback win at Ffos Las almost three weeks ago, the 10-1 shot got the better of One For The Team by three-quarters of a length, with Vive Le Roi a close-up third.
Pipe said: “It was nice to get him back at Ffos Las last time. This was a totally different ball game today.
“I was worried the ground wasn’t soft enough, but Tom gave him a great ride.
“On his A-game he has been a great horse over the years. We’ve done a few different things at home and they seem to be helping him – mentally he is in a good place at the moment.
“He has jumped fences in the past. That is probably the best he has jumped hurdles in his life and we might go back to fences at some point, we will see.”