Cristal Bonus proved a cut above his rivals in the Racing Plus Pendil Novices’ Chase at Kempton.
Sent off the 15-8 joint-favourite, Ruby Walsh’s mount was harried throughout by Duke Of Lucca but was always travelling and jumping well.
Turning in he he had his rival’s measure and went on to score by 13 lengths.
Zaynar was awkward and unseated Tom Scuadmore at the first fence while Minella Class lost confidence in his jumping and was tailed off when pulled up before the home turn by Barry Geraghty.
Ladbrokes were impressed and make the Paul Nicholls-trained winner 4-1 favourite for the Jewson Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham, Sky Bet have him as 5-1 joint-favourite alongside Sir Des Champs.
Nicholls said: “He’s been an unlucky horse as he had an infection in one of his feet which held him up.
“Then he worked well last week but then his other foot got infected. I really wanted to get another run into him before Cheltenham and I think he’ll go for the Jewson.”