©Healy Racing Photos
Taquin Du Seuil (15/8) won the Grade Two Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at Sandown on Friday.
Despite refusing to settle off a steady gallop in the early stages of the two and a half mile contest, the five year old found plenty to storm clear of Le Bec (8/1) jumping the last and win going away.
Emma Lavelle's runner-up had helped set the tempo along with Dunlough Bay but had seen that rival off when Up And Go fell at the second last as Taquin De Seuil moved smoothly into contention.
That incident left Southfield Theatre in third but the well-backed favourite had been struggling a long way from home, unlike the eventual winner.
Trained by Jonjo O'Neill and ridden by AP McCoy, Taquin Du Seuil ran on to win by six lengths and provide a boost for Nicky Henderson's My Tent Or Yours, who had beaten him last time.
O'Neill told Racing UK: "He jumped well, travelled well and I was very pleased with him. It panned out okay for him in the end, AP got him settled after they went slow and he travelled into the race well for him.
"He'd be the best novice we have at the moment, I don't see any jumping out of the sky anyway. The way he works at home I think two miles would be okay for him.
"You'd look forward to him going well with a good chance in one of the novices [at Cheltenham]."
Sky Bet go 14/1 about Taquin Du Seuil for the Neptune with My Tent Or Yours trimmed to 10/1 on the back of the form being franked.