Nigel Twiston-Davies’ I Like To Move It was a facile victor of the Wincanton Jennings Bet Kingwell Hurdle.
The six-year-old, who was last seen finishing sixth in the Grade Two Relkeel Hurdle, was one of a small field of four runners and sent off a 100-30 chance.
Partnered by the trainer’s son Sam, under whom the gelding won the Greatwood in November, I Like To Move it was ridden patiently throughout the one-mile-seven-furlong trip.
Turning for home he began to pull away, jumping the last in the lead and then accelerating away from Paul Nicholls’ Knappers Hill to score by an easy 17 lengths in the Grade Two.
Sam Twiston-Davies said: “It was an impressive performance.
“Dad and I were speaking on the way down. If you were to make a race for him, it would be the International Hurdle over a stiff two miles at Cheltenham but we have come today to one of the easiest two-mile tracks on good ground and he has looked as fast as ever. He’s an incredibly pacey horse at home and he showed that today.
“The two options at Cheltenham are the County Hurdle and the Champion Hurdle. God knows what he will be rated after today, so I think it’s only fair he goes and has a go at the Champion Hurdle.
“Obviously Constitution Hill is an aeroplane, but there is massive money on offer and he deserves to be there. To go and win is going to be incredibly tough, but it’s horseracing and you never know. He is still a young horse and we are lucky to have him.”
The winning handler felt dropping back in distance had proved crucial.
He said: “That was good, wasn’t it! Two and a half miles at Cheltenham last time was no good for him but brought back to two miles, we were certainly hopeful today.
“I know we can’t get anywhere near Constitution Hill, but we will give him something to think about (in the Champion Hurdle) and where else can we go after a performance like that?
“We were totally knackered by the International Hurdle being off, which he would have won with his head in his chest as you have seen today. But he is back again and Cheltenham here we come!
“He is right up there with the best hurdlers I have trained like The New One and Khyber Kim, who was second in the Champion Hurdle.”