Alan King reveals he was impressed as Yanworth made a winning debut over fences at Exeter yesterday.
The Christmas and Aintree Stayers Hurdle didn’t jump perfectly, and caused odds-on backers a scare when not fluent two from home, but Barry Geraghty pushed him clear of Sternrubin to win comfortably and almost effortlessly.
The bookmakers have since shortened him to 8-1 for the JLT Novices Chase at next year’s Cheltenham Festival.
“It's job done and I'm pleased and relieved,” said the Barbury Castle-maestro.
“He was a little bit high over the first few fences, but they weren't going very quick and I thought he warmed to his task well.
"He put down at the second-last, but he'll learn from that and overall I'm quite happy with the way he managed to get to Sternrubin, who is race-fit and a pretty good horse as well, and beat him."
"I hadn't really at any targets looked beyond today, to be honest. I just wanted to get this out of the way.
"I think there's a novice chase back here on November 15 over two-mile-three, so we might look at that, but we'll see how he comes out of this and go from there."
JP McManus’ £100,000 purchase Onefortheroadtom established himself as an exciting novice hurdler for Harry Fry.
He battled hard to see off former Group Two winner Lalor to land the prize on his British debut; his only other run came when winning an Irish point-to-point.
"We were hopeful he would run well and Exeter is a nice place to start these novices off,” said the Dorset-based trainer.
"It's great he's made a winning start and hopefully he's a horse with a nice future. He's only a four-year-old so we're in no great rush with him.
“We'll just run him in another novice under a penalty and go from there."
Johnny Farrelly’s Gingili, Oliver Greenall’s Cave Top and Nigel Hawke’s Midnight Request won handicaps. Evan Williams landed his 23rd winner of the year with Market Road.
Volcano was an exciting bumper winner on the card, making his debut for Christian Williams and Richard Johnson.