Knight Salute maintained his 100 per cent record over jumps when completing a four-timer in the bet365 Summit Juvenile Hurdle at Doncaster.
The Milton Harris-trained three-year-old followed up his latest success in a Grade Two contest at Cheltenham with a gutsy display in what looked a very competitive race at the same level.
Porticello, the 6-4 favourite, set out to make all the running but his jumping needs improvement while Paddy Brennan kept Knight Salute towards the rear of a sedate pace in the early stages.
Knight Salute (4-1) moved into contention when the tempo quickened in the straight with three flights left and pulled clear after jumping the last to score by three-quarters of a length from Porticello. Impulsive One was a neck away third.
Knight Salute was cut to 12-1 from 20-1 for the JCB Triumph Hurdle with Betfair and Paddy Power.
“It was harder today, the ground was deeper, I was committed down to the last I needed to wing it, I did, but he’s good,” said Brennan.
“It’s a £60,000 race thanks to the sponsors, a great bit of placement by Milton and a lovely race to win on a Saturday.”
As for what is next Brennan said: “It’s hard to say, we’ll let him do the talking on the track, It’s only going to get harder, but he’s earned enough money today to help towards Santa Clause.
“Milton’s doing well, he really believed in him. He rang me three times to tell me he was going to win”.
Owner Mark Adams added: “Everyone keeps putting a question mark over him, but what more can the horse have done. Every race you put in front of him, he runs well and he always gives a bit more each time.
“The Triumph is always the dream, any race at Cheltenham is a dream. Today was the big test to see where we go and after that run, why wouldn’t we!”
Harris said: “I’m delighted he’s answered the questions about the ground there. I’m not saying he loved it but he’s coped with it.
“He worked all over the horse that finished third today at Cheltenham (Galah) earlier in the week and I was very confident he would give his running and I told Paddy he would win.
“We’ll have to see what the handicapper does now, if he’s mid-130s then I was thinking maybe the Fred Winter, but there’s nothing to be frightened of at this stage.
“Obviously there might be a few smart ones still to come out, we might even have one or two ourselves, but you’d say he’s the best horse this side of the water so far. We’ll draw breath now, watch the race back and take a look in the new year.
“It’s great for the owners who are brilliant people and have been very loyal to me.”