Kerry Lee’s charge kicked off his campaign by finishing a distant third in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter three weeks ago and had less on his plate in bidding to give weight to just three rivals in the Bet At racinguk.com Handicap Chase.
The 11-10 favourite, who was sent early to post, jumped accurately in the hands of Jamie Moore, barring a mistake two fences from the finish.
It was not enough to stop his momentum, however, and he safely negotiated the final obstacle to seal a seven-length success over Pain Au Chocolat.
Lee told Racing UK: “That was super. Jamie gets on with this horse so well and gave him a lovely ride.
“He does jump very well and loves this ground. He’s back in his grade as well, which helps.
“It’s a military operation to get him to post. Last season he won at Ludlow and actually ran a circuit of the track before the race.
“We’re very careful with him now and he wears earplugs to go to post, which are very helpful to the job.
“I’ll have to look very carefully and see what the handicapper does before I make any more plans.”
Toast Of New York, the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up, will make his comeback at Lingfield next Wednesday.
The six-year-old has not raced since that outstanding performance at Santa Anita three years ago after a tendon injury led to his premature retirement.
Toast Of New York, who also won the UAE Derby at Meydan in March 2014, was bought by Al Shaqab Racing after his run in the Breeders’ Cup and had been standing at stud in the Middle East.
But he returned to the United Kingdom at the beginning of the year and is now considered fit enough to run again.
His first assignment will be a mile-and-a-quarter conditions stakes at Lingfield.
Stepover stuck to her task well to get the better of Apache Song in the ABF The Soldiers Charity Mares’ Handicap Hurdle at Hereford.
These two had the five-runner feature to themselves over the last two flights and it was Alex Hales’s charge who showed the better turn of foot for Kielan Woods to get the verdict by two lengths.
Hales said of his 3-1 winner: “I’m delighted. It was very good win.
“She’d gone close in her previous two races and it was very good of Hereford to put on a nice prize for mares.”