Claimantakinforgan enhanced his growing reputation with a forceful victory in the SkyBet Supreme Trial Novices’ Hurdle at Ascot on Friday.
The Nicky Henderson charge followed up a recent Newbury success with this display which has seen market moves for the Cheltenham Festival.
Colin Tizzard’s unbeaten Slate House made a mistake turning into the straight and fell back through the field after jumping well at the front in the first round.
It was a painful afternoon for Tizzard in the end as his star Novice Finian’s Oscar was held off in a photo finish by the game Benatar in the Mitie Noel Novice Stakes.
The Gary Moore chaser reversed the form with Finian’s Oscar in what was a thrilling finish as the pair battled down the straight.
Divine Spear displayed his improvement to pull clear and win the Stella Artois Novices’ Handicap Chase under a confident ride from Nico De Boinville.
The Nicky Henderson six-year-old could be one to watch this season following up his Catterick success and could head for the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Clondaw Native provided Stuart Edmonds with his first Ascot winner in the opening race of the day as the Christmas Racing Weekend got underway.
Golan Fortune landed the Mitie Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle.
In the final race of the day, Didtheyleaveuouto won impressively on the flat.