All eyes were on Thistlecrack's chasing debut at Chepstow and Colin Tizzard's World Hurdle winner didn't disappoint with an exemplary round of fencing to win by a hard held four lengths. Tom Scudamore's mount made all and, as well as producing some spectacular leaps on occasions, he was clever when he needed to be, including at the fifth last. His trainer suggested a trip to Cheltenham next month is on his agenda before a likely tilt at the Feltham Novice Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day. Then, one would imagine, he will look towards the Argento Chase at Prestbury Park in January. The Kayf Tara gelding will be nine on the 1st January and his connections are therefore thinking more in terms of the Gold Cup rather than the RSA Chase at the Festival in March. In terms of a chase debut, it was the perfect start and it will be interesting to see how many rivals turn up at the Betvictor meeting at Cheltenham in November.
The West Country handler doubled up at the Welsh track half an hour later when new recruit Elegant Escape won the two and a half mile maiden hurdle. A four year old by Dubai Destination, he was bought for £150,000 having finished second in his only Irish point for Gordon Elliott. Featured in Declan Phelan's Irish Pointers section in One Jump Ahead, he outstayed the strong travelling Persian Delight to win by a short head. With time very much on his side, he can only improve.
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