Porticello had little trouble landing short odds in the William Hill Super Odds Victor Ludorum Juvenile Hurdle at Haydock.
Should the conditions present themselves at Cheltenham next month, Gary Moore’s giant four-year-old could serve him to the Irish-trained favorites and Sky Bet saw fit to cut him down to 8-1 for Triumph.
Already a freshman winner at Chepstow, Porticello was kicked out of the 30-100 favorite and Josh Moore kept it simple.
The approach of the penultimate Skycutter was the only danger, but when he met the flight on the wrong stride and Porticello steered him, the race was over and he took a 17-length victory.
Josh Moore said: “I just thought I would keep it simple and use his jumps and he did it well.
“He handles this terrain as well as any horse, down the back is a bit better but up the straight it’s very holding and not the most enjoyable.
“The Triumph will depend on how it does and the nature of the terrain, if it has to race there it will want a lot of ease I would say.”
The jockey missed much of the season through injury and was only on Porticello as his brother Jamie was due to ride Goshen at Wincanton.
“It’s actually Jamie’s ride but I enjoyed riding it today, it’s a pleasure,” he said.
“The rides usually sort themselves out without too much trouble, but I’ve missed most of this season and happened to be my dad’s best, so Jamie took advantage of that”
Tom Lacey and Stan Sheppard’s recent good run continued when Adrimel carried the highest weight to victory in the William Hill Cheltenham Non-Runner Money Back Novices Limited Handicap Chase.
Just seven days after winning the Betfair Hurdle with Glory And Fortune, Adrimel was forced to work hard by Shaman Du Berlais to clinch short odds as a 4-6 favourite, eventually winning by a neckline.
“On that ground he could probably fall back on the trip because he handles it so well,” Lacey said.
“Stan said he just felt lonely up front and it was really hard work today so any horse has a right to be tired.
“I think he’s better than a handicapper but he’s a horse that you have to catch well. We haven’t had any setbacks but the races just haven’t been there to suit him and we have had to wait for softer ground. He was not an easy horse to place in a dry winter.”