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Last Updated: 10/02/13 3:46pm
Harry Topper: Readily landed the odds at Exeter
Harry Topper maintained his upward curve with an impressive win in the Bathwick Tyres Taunton Graduation Chase at Exeter.
Kim Bailey's charge made it three out of three over fences with a wide margin success in the three mile contest on his first start since beating subsequent Irish Arkle winner Benefficient at Newbury in November.
Held-up towards the rear of the quintet, Harry Topper was on and off the bridle a little as he had been at the Berkshire venue but was travelling with purpose as he joined issue at the top of the straight.
Long-time leader Highland Lodge weakened tamely once headed and the eventual winner had soon seen off the challenges of Bensalem and Pearlysteps who were both returning from lengthy absences.
It was left to Hawkes Point to chase Jason Maguire's mount home with 12 lengths separating the pair at the line.
Bailey said: "It was a good performance. It's horrible ground. He's a baby, a frame of a horse but he has got a huge engine.
"He never shows a lot at home but Jason said there was huge improvement from the first time he rode him."
The winner, who isn't entered in the RSA Chase, was cut to 7/1 from 10s for the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival by Sky Bet.
However, he isn't certain to go there as, when asked, Bailey said: "Not necessarily. We will see how he comes out of today.
"Cheltenham must be better ground than it has been and I don't really want to put a gun to his head. He needs looking after, but the four-miler is the most suitable of the races for him to run in."