Cheltenian off the mark over hurdles
Last Updated: 31/12/13 2:14pm
Cheltenian: Made no mistake to score
Cheltenian predictably proved a different class to his rivals in the 32Red Casino Maiden Hurdle at Uttoxeter.
A runaway winner of the 2011 Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival, Philip Hobbs' charge then spent almost two years on the sidelines.
He made an encouraging return when a close second in a Doncaster novices' hurdle in February, but was unable to land a blow when last of 10 finishers in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle.
Making his first appearance since then, Cheltenian was a 2-7 favourite in the hands of Richard Johnson and was soon disputing the lead.
Despite pulling for his head for much of the two-mile journey, his class advantage was clear as he bounded away in the straight, safely negotiating the remaining obstacles to seal a seven-length triumph.
Fergal Mael Duin was comfortably clear of the remainder in second.
Cheltenian's owner, Roger Brookhouse, is keen to see how his charge recovers from the race before making future plans.
Brookhouse said: "We're very pleased with him. He did it well.
"He seems to still have the engine and as long as the wheels are still on in the morning we'll move on.
"There are no plans at the moment. I'll have a chat with Philip and see where we go from here."