Magic Of Light opened her account for the season in impressive fashion as she completed a hat-trick of wins in Newbury’s Pertemps Network Mares’ Chase.
Last year’s Grand National runner-up barely had to get out of second gear to continue her dominance of the extended two-mile-seven-furlong Listed race, justifying odds of 1-2 in the three-runner field.
The Jessica Harrington-trained nine-year-old put in a bold round of jumping from the front under Robbie Power before cruising home eight lengths clear of Sensulano, who blundered her chance away with a costly mistake at the second last.
Power said: “It’s hat-trick complete. It’s fantastic.
“She feels as she good as when she won it for the first time, if not better. She travelled super and jumped super. She didn’t put a foot wrong the whole way round.
“I gave her a breather after the last one out of the back straight and I just rolled on to the cross fence.
“She just loves jumping. She pricks her ears, and you know she is watching what she is doing because she is concentrating on her fences. She is a joy to ride.”
The Gold Cup-winning jockey reported the nature of the race suited Magic Of Better much better than 12 months ago – when she appeared briefly to have a real fight on her hands against Field Exhibition, who was a length down when departing at the final fence.
He added: “It suited me a bit better today, because last year I had no company over the first couple of fences and she was very idle in front.
“Today I had a bit of company over the first couple of fences, and it just got her racing. That made my job a lot easier than 12 months ago.”
Magic Of Light, who was cut to 25-1 for this season’s Grand National by Paddy Power, will tread a familiar path back to Aintree – with her jockey confirming next month’s Grade Two Warfield Mares’ Hurdle at Ascot, which she has also won for the past two years, will be the aim.
He added: “At the end of the day the Grand National is the main target at Aintree in April.
“It is a nice plan for her we have used the last couple of years. She will come back at the end of January for the three-mile hurdle at Ascot.
“That’s the plan we have used, and it has worked so far, so if it ain’t broke don’t fix. It’s ideal if we can get her to Aintree with loads of confidence under her belt.”