Monmiral maintained his unbeaten record over jumps with a convincing victory in the Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree.
The Paul Nicholls-trained gelding oozed class in the hands of Harry Cobden and proved connections right for bypassing the Cheltenham Festival.
Monmiral was always travelling sweetly in third place behind Fiveandtwenty and Paros in the early stages, until he took closer order from three out.
Main market rival Adagio made his move, but a mistake at the final flight cost the Triumph Hurdle runner-up any chance he had and Monmiral scooted away to score by seven an a half lengths.
The victory gave the ownership that includes Sir Alex Ferguson, John Hales and Ged Mason a quick Grade One double following Protektorat’s win in the Manifesto Novices’ Chase.
Monmiral was cut to 25-1 from 40-1 for the Champion Hurdle and to 20-1 from 40-1 for the Arkle Trophy with Paddy Power and Betfair. Coral also went 20-1 for the Arkle.
Nicholls said: “The owners weren’t keen on Cheltenham. Although usually the Triumph is a cavalry charge and this year there weren’t many runners. This is a lovely race to win and there’s lots to look forward to.
“It has to be the best juvenile performance by a horse this side of the (Irish) sea.
“It will be hard to go novice chasing next season as a five-year-old, you don’t get as much of an allowance as you used to.
“It might be nice to think about the Fighting Fifth, it’s something to think about over the summer. A bit of time wouldn’t hurt this lad. There’s no panic to make a decision. If he won at Newcastle then we know what route to go down.”