Goshen returned to his best on Saturday, with the five-year-old storming home in the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton to get his Champion Hurdle hopes back on track.
Gary Moore’s gelding, who had finished last on his only start over obstacles this season, took the lead going into the home turn and blitzed clear to impressively beat Song For Someone by 22 lengths.
Dashel Drasher caused an upset in the Ascot Chase, as the eight-year-old produced a gutsy performance to give jockey Matt Griffiths his first Grade 1 success.
The eight-year-old fought off the advances of Paul Nicholls’ Master Tommytucker in the final stages, bravely holding on to land his fourth win in four races at the Berkshire course.
Trainer Jeremy Scott stated after the contest that he is undecided whether to go for the Ryanair Chase at the Festival, which his chaser holds a 20/1 price tag for.
Remastered extended his unbeaten start over fences, as the eight-year old landed the Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase.
David Pipe’s gelding made all in the contest, fighting off market favourite Demachine in the closing stages to land a maiden Graded victory.
Meanwhile at Haydock, Alaphilippe claimed a 14-length victory in the Grade 2 Prestige Novices’ Hurdle.
The seven-year-old was travelling well and was gifted the lead when Young Buck made a mistake three out and unseated the rider, allowing Fergal O’Brien’s gelding to run clear.
Alaphillipe is now a 20/1 shot for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival next month.
Sunday saw the seasonal reappearance of last year’s RSA Chase winner Champ, who ran a cracker to finish second in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury.
The nine-year-old had made all the running until the final fence, when contest favourite Sceau Royal challenged and got in front, winning by two lengths.
Nicky Henderson’s Gold Cup hope saw his price for the Festival’s showpiece cut from 12/1 to 6/1 generally, while Alan King’s talent can be found at 25/1 for the Champion Chase.
However, it was a different contrast of fortunes across the Irish Sea for another returning star.
Dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll was making his final preparation run in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan, a race that he won two years ago.
However, it was not to be this time around, as he finished last of the six-runner field.
It is not clear whether the eleven-year-old will go for glory at Aintree in April, but Gordon Elliott has assured his legion of fans that he will be heading for the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham.
Back at Newbury, Soaring Glory booked his Cheltenham ticket after landing the prestigious Betfair Hurdle.
The six-year-old travelled the best of the pack in the final stages, going three lengths clear of Fifty Ball to land a first success in Graded company.
Jonjo O’Neill promising novice was cut from 25/1 to 12/1 for the Supreme, with his trainer making it clear that ‘he’s entitled to run in it’.