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Marlborough has some valuable prizes in his sights after his brittle jumping stood the test at Kempton Park today.

The eight-year-old finally got it right in the Easter Hero Handicap Chase after failing to complete the course in his last four outings.

Suited by the patient tactics adopted by Mick Fitzgerald, he took charge when jumping to the front two out.

Moving smoothly clear, the 2-1 favourite was six lengths clear of Dictamn at the line.

Marlborough had undergone some intensive work from jumping guru Yogi Breisner in a bid to sort out his wayward ways.

"We're a relieved team. He had too many letters in front of his name," said trainer Nicky Henderson.

"Yogi Breisner has been working on him and he even had time to school him this morning before the horse came to the races.

"Mick rode the horse beautifully today - it was his idea to drop him and it seems that he needs to be put to sleep.

"He certainly did it well today but I'm not going to say that's the end of his jumping problems - let's see what happens next time."

Next stop for Marlborough could well be the Great Yorkshire Chase at Doncaster at the end of the month.

Marlborough - whose owner Robert Ogden won the contest with General Command three years - is penalised 6lb for this victory taking his weight to 11st 1lb for the £40,000 handicap.

Rockforce further strengthened Paul Nicholls' already powerful ammunition for the Cheltenham Festival as he shrugged off a long absence to gain an emphatic victory.

The eight-year-old survived an early error to see off the opposition in the Hanworth Handicap Chase.

The emphatic success is likely to earn Rockforce a place in his trainer's elite squad for jump racing's showpiece meeting in March with his objective the Grand Annual Chase.

Rockforce, off the track since last February, was sent off 4-6 to see off his six rivals.

His supporters were made to suffer early on when he made a terrible blunder at the water jump.

Joe Tizzard did well to keep the partnership intact and thereafter there were no serious worries, Rockforce coming home four lengths clear of Guignol du Cochet.

"I didn't see the early mistake but I think you would have to put it down to rustiness," said Nicholls.

"He's a big gross horse and takes a lot of getting fit - we thought he'd need the run more than he did.

"He's now his last four completed races and is a talented horse. He had a slight leg problem after his win at Ascot last February so we decided to give the Arkle a miss."

Ascot is likely to be Rockforce's next port of call - he is pencilled in for a handicap at the Berkshire track on Friday week.

Cheltenham is not on the agenda for Delayed who justified prohibitive odds of 2-5 in the Walton Juvenile Novices' Hurdle.

The filly was bought out of the same French stable that once housed last year's Triumph Hurdle winner Katarino.

But Delayed is unlikely to be attempting the same contest with trainer Henrietta Knight saying: "That's a tough race and she won't be going for it."

Knight admitted she had been concerned when outsider Aquire Not Desire had set off like a scalded cat in the race.

But all was well in the end as the leader's efforts took their toll in the home straight and Delayed forged clear to defeat Donatus by six lengths.

A return to Kempton is now on the cards with Delayed set to tackle next month's Adonis Hurdle.

Later in the season her main target is likely to be the Glenlivet Hurdle at the Grand National meeting.

Tony McCoy took his tally for the season to 154 with a determined effort to force 25-1 shot Final Settlement ahead right on the line to short-head Eastwell Hall in the Ashford Novices' Hurdle.