Star steeplechaser Altior has bounced back from a shock last-start defeat with a Grade Two victory at Newbury.
Altior, who had won 19 consecutive races until he was beaten at Ascot in November, will now return to Cheltenham next month to try to win at the Festival for a fifth successive time.
Nico de Boinville had to get serious on the 1-3 favourite Altior heading to the final fence on Saturday, but his famed turbo kicked in and he sprinted clear to win by 3-1/4 lengths.
“We’ve had a few hiccups along the way, but we’re getting there,” trainer Nicky Henderson said.
“He was keen early and enjoying himself. He took a blow just before the second-last, but what he really liked was the way he put it to bed – the gears are still there.”
“There is improvement to come and he (de Boinville) said he will come on a lot for it. As much as anything it will have done his confidence the world of good.
“It was not nice at Ascot and it took a lot of getting over to be honest with you, and Nico said today would have done him the world of good.
“We know what we have got to do between now and then just keep the ball rolling. He takes plenty of work.
“There is no doubt we were under pressure today. I’ve got to say I was fairly confident, but on the other hand you are ready to take what you have to take and that is what racing is all about and you have to face these things when they go wrong.”