Datsalrightgino is likely to test the water at Grade One level on his next appearance after coming out on top in a thrilling climax to the opening race at Cheltenham on Friday.
The five-year-old was placed in each of his four starts in bumpers last season, filling the runner-up spot on three occasions.
But the combination of a summer wind operation and a switch to jumping appeared to have helped him raise his game judged on an impressive hurdling debut at Fontwell last month.
Jamie Snowden’s charge looked booked for minor honours again in the British EBF “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle after the strong-travelling Jpr One moved to the lead.
But 6-1 shot Datsalrightgino powered up the famous hill under Gavin Sheehan to prevail by a neck.
Snowden said: “I think he’s a nice horse and I think he’ll go on any ground.
“I couldn’t believe he didn’t win a bumper, so we went belts and braces and gave him a wind op in the summer.
“He gallops, he jumps, he’s got a bit of speed and he’s classy. He’s very exciting, hopefully.
“He stayed galloping all the way to the line and will probably end up going to the Tolworth Hurdle (at Sandown in January) now.”
Lucinda Russell’s Scottish raider Corach Rambler notched a second win over fences in the Tiggys Trust Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase.
All six riders sported yellow jodhpurs in support of the Tiggy’s Trust foundation, which was set up in memory of Tiggy Hancock and focuses on the mental health and wellbeing of young people.
Corach Rambler was the 2-1 favourite to follow up his victory at Aintree in October and after coming from the rear to challenge, he stuck on grimly at the finish to see off Eva’s Oskar by two lengths.
Russell said: “When he made a mistake at the first you remember he is still a novice. This is a lovely horse and he has just kept on improving.
“The owners had to decide whether to come here or Doncaster but we said ‘let’s go to Cheltenham as it is a bit more fun’ and it certainly is. He stays forever.
“He made a mistake at the last through a little bit of inexperience. He is such a laidback horse but he pricked his ears in front.
“Derek (Fox) was worried he had got there too soon and you could see there was nothing he could do. He is a horse that will keep on improving and he will go four miles but I don’t know where we go next.”
The Scottish Grand National at Ayr could be a future target, with Russell adding: “He is still a novice but maybe we could look at the Scottish National this season. We are well known for our staying chasers and this is another one.”
Lively Citizen, trained by David Jeffreys, went one better than 12 months ago in the Catesby Handicap Hurdle.
Beaten into second in the same race last season, the 6-1 shot would not be denied this time around – repelling 5-2 favourite Broomfield Burg by half a length.
Winning rider Archie Bellamy, younger brother of fellow jockey Tom, was thrilled to ride his first winner at Cheltenham.
He said: “I haven’t had the easiest of times – I’ve had a quiet spell – and these days are unbelievable.
“It’s a dream come true just to ride at Cheltenham, let alone have a winner. I’m speechless.”
Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies teamed up to win the CF Roberts Electrical & Mechanical Services Mares’ Handicap Chase, with 12-1 shot Vienna Court powering 11 lengths clear of Precious Eleanor.
“We always hoped this was what she had in her,” said Twiston-Davies senior.
“We’ve been hunting quite high to get black type, which she has now, so we dropped down in class today and she’s proved us right.
“We’ll go hunting in these mares’ races. They’re a great thing for the girls and hopefully we can find a Listed race she can win.”
Neil Mulholland’s Kansas City Chief (9-1) won at Cheltenham for the second time this season under 7lb claimer Victoria Malzard.
“He is just incredible, he really he is,” said Malzard.
“There’s never any pressure riding him as the owners include my mum and dad and grandparents. They just leave me to it and ride him as he feels.
“He’s the one that does everything out there. Today he was straight into his rhythm and was never going to let anyone past him.
“I think it was more exciting than winning here in October – it’s settling in more this time.”