Elgin put up a smashing effort to control his rivals in the home straight and win the 32Red Casinos Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton Park.
King George VI Chase Day got off to a sunny start, with this two mile novice hurdle which is often an important pointer to bigger races later in the season.
Maximus Maridius was the early leader and took the field along from Ballyhill, as the runners passed the winning post, with two flights jumped, and set off with a circuit to race.
With four flights negotiated, Maximus Maridius continued to lead from Ballyhill and Jenkins, who had not been entirely fluent, with Glaring and Elgin close up.
At the next flight, Jenkins jumped slowly and was niggled at, while Ballyhill went into the lead from Meximus Maridius, with Galring and Elgin closing up.
Ballyhill turned for home in the lead from Glaring, with Elgin creeping up the inside as Jenkins came under stronger pressure and Mohaayed came into contention.
Elgin landed in front two out as Glaring sprawled on landing and was eased off, and the Alan King runner went on from Mohaayed who gave chase.
This pair went clear of their rivals over the last and Elgin had plenty to give as Wayne Hutchinson asked him for more on the flat, comfortably holding Mohaayed, who ran a belter on his hurdles debut. It was a long way back to Ballyhill in third, with Jenkins running an odd race in fourth.
The 4 year old Elgin was making it two from two over hurdles, having won at Newcastle previously. The manner of this success suggests there is plenty more to come.
Winning trainer Alan King said: “He settled lovely today. Newcastle was a good performance, but he did a lot of things wrong that day and still managed to win well.
“He didn’t hang today and that could be helped by going right-handed. There was a slight concern the ground might not be soft enough, but Wayne (Hutchinson) said it was on the slow side of good to soft.
“He will have a break now and I suppose it will be one more run then we will look at Cheltenham. He will possibly come back here for the Dovecote.”