Peace And Co burst into the picture for the JCB Triumph Hurdle when making an impressive British debut at Doncaster on Saturday.
A winner over the smaller obstacles at Auteuil in June when trained in France, Nicky Henderson’s new recruit stormed to victory in the bet365 Summit Juvenile Hurdle.
Sent of the 10-11 favourite, Peace And Co jumped crisply and accurately from the outset to easily account for dual winner Starchitect by 19 lengths and is now 6-1 joint-favourite with Paddy Power for the Cheltenham juvenile championship.
“I hoped he would be something like that,” said Henderson, speaking from Cheltenham. “What I saw there, I was very, very happy. He was tanking the whole way through.”
Jacob said: “It wasn’t the plan to make the running, but he was lovely and settled in second or third, but then horses behind me lit him up a bit too much.
“When he got to the front he relaxed and he was great. He really picked up in the home straight and was very quick and slick at his hurdles. He feels a bit special. He’s always been very smooth at home. He was very quick over French hurdles so I knew he’d be the same over these.”
Jacob had earlier won on Grandads Horse, the 9-4 favourite, who had to withstand Night In Milan’s late rally in the bet365.com Handicap Chase.
Nick Scholfield was a second double-winning jockey, scoring on the John Quinn-trained Kashmir Peak and Virak. Virak, a 6-4 favourite, denied Wakanda an all-the-way success in the bet365 December Novices’ Chase.
Kashmir Peak, sent off at 5-2, won for the first time since this meeting exactly two years ago when landing the bet365.com Handicap Hurdle by five lengths from Laudatory.
Quinn said: “We might look for something early in January. He ran a few good races last year and he’s handicapped to win.
Neil King is also dreaming of glory in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival with Zeroeshadesofgrey after his exciting five-year-old scooted home by 33 lengths at odds of 1-4 in the bet365.com Novices’ Hurdle under Trevor Whelan.
“He had a double penalty but the way he’s done it, the world’s his oyster,” said King. “After Christmas there will be numerous races for him. We’ll just pick and choose and hopefully keep progressing.”
Other winners on the card were Robbie in the bet365 Handicap Chase (7-2) and Knight In Purple in the bet365 Handicap Hurdle under 3lb claimer Peter Carberry (13-2).
At Cheltenham, 4-7 favourite The New One made it three wins in as many starts this term as he stamped his authority on the StanJames.com International Hurdle.
Niceonefrankie also turned the usually competitive Caspian Caviar Gold Cup into a procession at odds of 16-1.