Goshen reignited his Champion Hurdle claims with an impressive victory in the Betway Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton.
Out of luck after falling at the final flight with the Triumph Hurdle at his mercy 12 months ago, Gary Moore’s five-year-old blew the opposition away with a devastating display as he returned to his best form of last season.
He settled well for Jamie Moore, who allowed Navajo Pass to give him a lead until the business end of the race.
Kicking on after jumping three from home, the 100-30 victor quickly put daylight between himself and his rivals.
Song For Someone, the 11-10 favourite, appeared to struggle to compete with the early pace, but came through to finish a never-nearer second – 22 lengths behind the easy winner. Navajo Pass was third.
Goshen was cut to 5-1 from 16-1 for the Champion Hurdle with Paddy Power, and to the same price with Coral from 20-1.
Moore senior said: “I was very pleased, over the moon.
“I didn’t know what to expect. I knew I had him in a good place and fair play to Jamie. He told me when he worked him on Tuesday he would win.
“I was just hoping he would do what he has done today.
“It has to be the Champion Hurdle next. It has always been the target since last year. We’re hoping we can go there with every chance.
“Hopefully there’s a little bit of improvement to come from him.
“He settled lovely today. He doesn’t have to make the running, He just wants his own space.”
Equally thrilled was the winning jockey, who said: “It was a very rewarding performance. Just pleased to get him somewhere near his best for dad and the owners.
“We wouldn’t have run him if we didn’t think he was right. His last bit of work on Tuesday was very good and we’ve been happy with him. We wanted to go to Sandown a couple of weeks ago and it was called off. It’s good we’ve got a run into him.
“Dad has tried a different training regime with the horse and it’s worked. The horse has enjoyed it and we’ve got him fit in different ways.”
The jockey knows more still might be needed at Cheltenham, however.
“We’re going to look forward to the Champion Hurdle, but it’s going to be no easy task,” he said.
“Epatante didn’t run great at Kempton, but it shows horses aren’t machines. Goshen came back today and she could come back at Cheltenham.
“We’re going to wait and hope he’s in good form on the day.”