Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville took the plaudits at Newbury with a short-priced treble highlighted by the victory of exciting newcomer Dusart.
Although the Flemensfirth gelding has a long way to go to emulate his Grade One-winning half-brother Simonsig, there was plenty to like about his two-and-a-half-length debut success in the Download The tote App Novices’ Hurdle.
Henderson said of the 7-4 shot: “We’ve looked at lots of Simonsig’s relations over the years. Ronnie’s (Bartlett, owner) words were always the same – ‘could Maradona’s brother play football!’.
“He went to Ian Ferguson’s and he would have run in a point-to-point in the spring for Ian as Simonsig started with Ian as well. He has done nothing but please you at home as he was very well educated thanks to Ian.
“He works great and jumps so well, that’s why I didn’t bother with a bumper. Nico said he was fantastic. For his first run of his life he knew his job well.”
Gran Luna (4-11) was forced to pull out all the stops before defeating Will Victory in the tote.co.uk Ten To Follow Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle by half a length.
Henderson said: “She just blew up at the last and you need to get your second wind. If you blow up that late it’s a bad time to blow up.
“I would have thought she is probably likely to come back here for the Listed race later in the month.”
Morning Vicar (5-2) put in a bold round of jumping to open his account over fences with a fine front-running success in the Indzine Handicap Chase to complete Henderson’s and De Boinville’s three-timer.
The Seven Barrows handler added: “His jumping today was good, but he has been having some tuition and that has made a big difference.
“He ran a good race at Uttoxeter, but probably didn’t stay the trip. He loved that ground and the trip (two and a half miles). Everything was in his favour today.”
Petrossian gave Harry Cobden a winner on his 22nd birthday along with bringing up trainer Paul Nicholls’ half-century for the season in division one of the tote.co.uk Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.
Assistant trainer Harry Derham said of the 5-2 winner: “His work at home has always been outstanding and it was lovely to see him translate it to the track.
“Harry hoped they might go a bit quicker, but he travelled very smoothly and showed a good turn of foot. He will have a light campaign in bumpers this season.
“That is 50 for Paul this season. A lot of this is down to the incredible support of our owners and the backing they have given Paul in a challenging time.”
The 11-times champion trainer was also on the mark with Tomorrow Mystery (6-5), who made her return a winning one in the tote.co.uk Ten To Follow Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.
Veteran campaigner Dell Arca continued his recent revival at the age of 11 when backing up his last-time-out success at Aintree by a length and a half to claim a second victory in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle.
Pipe, who also landed the three-mile prize in 2017, said: “What a legend of a horse he has been for Caroline Tisdall and for us at Pond House.
“Caroline was watching at home and she was in tears as he and Vieux Lion Rouge were two of the first horses she bought.
“My partner Leanne rides him out most of the time and she said he was in cracking form, so we had to take a chance as he was 5lb well in and it has paid off.”