Mossy Fen outstayed his rivals to win the Ballymore Leamington Novices’ Hurdle at Warwick.
Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, he had to settle for fourth behind stable companion Redford Road at Cheltenham last time out, but prior to that had been very impressive at Aintree.
Victory looked unlikely turning into the straight in this Grade Two event as Dan Skelton’s Shan Blue kicked clear, pursued by Decor Irlandais.
When Shan Blue’s stride began to shorten after the second last, it was the Irish raider Decor Irlandais who hit the front and seemed set for victory.
But Sam Twiston-Davies saw a great stride approaching the final flight on Mossy Fen (7-2), landed running and claimed the leader in the final 100 yards to win by three-quarters of a length.
Carl Llewellyn, the trainer’s assistant, said: “He battled on. He’s going to be a chaser. He stayed on well and Sam gave him a great ride. He’s a fine horse and he’s tough.
“The owners are from Liverpool, so they might want to go for the three-mile Grade One for novices at Aintree. They’ve got quite a few horses with us.
“They’ve been with us a year and a half and they’ve had a god run recently with horses like Riders Onthe Storm.”
The winning rider added: “Things didn’t go right last time, but I’d like to see him on better ground over three miles – (that) is probably the dream.
“His future is chasing. You can see he has the size and scope. He was more babyish than he probably has been so far.
“He jumps to the right a little bit which doesn’t bother me. He’s just very green, but he has a great attitude and is a pleasure to ride.”
Harry Senior was a late withdrawal after unshipping his rider on the way to the start.