Paul Nicholls hopes McFabulous may eventually be a Stayers’ Hurdle contender after he registered an emphatic win in the European Breeders Fund Paddy Power “National Hunt” EBF Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at Kempton.
Winner of the Grade Two bumper at Aintree last season, McFabulous suffered a shock defeat on his hurdles bow before then finding Master Debonair far too good when last of four in a Supreme trial at Ascot back in December.
But he hit the target at Market Rasen last month, and punters were confident he could supplement that win stepped back up to Grade Three level.
Sent off the 5-2 favourite, McFabulous was always travelling well for Harry Cobden, settled on the rail on the heels of pacesetter Eden Du Houx.
Turning for home, Cobden was clearly in control, and McFabulous jumped his way to the front at the penultimate flight as Eden Du Houx dropped away.
Sevarano tried to put up a challenge, but McFabulous was just too good – taking the final flight with a couple of lengths in hand before pulling away on the run to the line.
He came home six and a half lengths clear of Sevarano, with Hurricane Harvey snatching third from Eden Du Houx in the shadow of the post.
The two-mile-five-furlong series final was due to be run at Sandown last week, but that meeting was called off because of a waterlogged track.
Nicholls admitted after the race the cancellation of that card had worked in McFabulous’ favour.
He said: “It’s ended up being a bonus last week was off, because that would have been stiff enough, but today was perfect.
“He got a lovely mark at Market Rasen; he jumped great today and should shape up into a very good staying hurdler.
“We’ll look for a Grade One over two and a half miles, but he could be a Stayers’ Hurdle horse one day.”