Mysteree made light of a 245-day absence to see off some exalted names in the in the Paxtons Exclusively Kverneland Chase at Kelso.
Michael Scudamore’s lightly-raced 11-year-old was last seen finishing a narrow second in the Eider Chase at Newcastle in February, but he travelled extremely kindly throughout in the hands of Brendan Powell.
With Lucinda Russell’s 2017 Grand National winner One For Arthur in opposition, along with the likes Vintage Clouds, Dandy Dan and Blue Flight, it looked a far from an easy task.
However, Mysteree (10-1), who also won the Eider in 2017, was able to keep in touch as Amalfi Doug set sail for home while One For Arthur and Dandy Dan were caught for speed.
As Amalfi Doug began to tire, Mysteree’s stamina kicked in and he powered home to win by eight lengths. Dandy Dan stuck to his task to claim second, just ahead of Amalfi Doug and One For Arthur, who was having his first start since finishing sixth in the National back in April.
Scudamore said: “It was a good performance for an 11-year-old. I thought three-miles-two would be sharp enough for him up there on that ground considering Eider Chases are usually his thing.
“It was a great ride from Brendan and great for all the team at home.
“For an 11-year-old to come back and do that with all the miles he has on the clock, it was a good performance. He has got a good record first time out.
“The dream has always been to try to get in the Grand National and what is he going to do there? Go up 7lb or 8lb and that puts him on 140, so we have still got to find a few pounds from somewhere.
“You would have to think about a Becher Chase and that would be Plan A, all being well, and we’ll see from there.
“Today was was a bit of trial as we thought it would be sharp enough and therefore Aintree would be sharp enough, but the way he has done it there, it is worth giving it a go.
“Although he is not flamboyant with his jumping, he is clever with it. He has got a profile of a horse that could run well in those sorts of races, if we can get in them.”