Mister Fisher took advantage of a drop in class to land a deserved success in the Coral Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton.
Nicky Henderson’s eight-year-old had things easier than on his last visit to the Sunbury track, when he was pulled up in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.
Already a dual course winner, Mister Fisher made it three with a polished performance over the extended two and a half miles.
James Bowen was happy to sit in third place as Rogue Vif and Eldorado Allen set the pace with the only other runner, Defi Du Seuil, last of the four.
Taking closer order in the straight with three fences to jump, Mister Fisher (15-8 favourite) was soon poised to challenge Eldorado Allen after Rouge Vif weakened.
Mister Fisher led approaching the final fence and was not hard pressed to score by a length and three-quarters, earning a 12-1 from 20-1 quote from Betfair for the Ryanair Chase, with Coral going 16-1.
“That was his race. It was made for him form the day it was put in the programme book – except for the ground, because he has always been a little bit vulnerable on sticky ground,” said Henderson.
“I think the ground is tacky, but with Falco (Blitz, winner earlier on the card) and him, we’ve gone wide the whole way which Barney (Clifford, clerk of the course) told me to do about three days ago.
“He was really good, but he is a very good horse. If you remember that last race at Sandown last year, when he looked as if he had got Frodon, and Frodon came back and beat him on the line – that is where he is in life. He is up there in the higher echelons.
“I think two and half miles is probably his trip… I know he ran a good race in the King George because it was his first run of the season and he turned in out of the back straight going really well. You could say, ‘was it stamina? Or was it just the fact it was his first run?’ (that he emptied and was pulled up).
“I wouldn’t be in a rush to go back to three miles. He had a Gold Cup entry, but I think the Ryanair is more realistic really than anything else.
“This was a race made for him. If the Ryanair was on good ground, he will be competitive. Aintree would be next. If there wasn’t anything in between, you’d have him ready for a busy spell. He could do a Cheltenham-Aintree double. He deserves a nice pot like this and he has now got to go and fly in the top flight.
“We think he is top class, always has been. I love him, he is a beautiful horse.”