Captain Conan made every yard a winning one in the Markel Insurance Henry VIII Novices' Chase at Sandown.
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The five-year-old had tracked the leaders when making an impressive chasing debut at Cheltenham but was asked to cut out his own running at the Esher venue as the connections of main market rival Hinterland opted for a change of tactics.
Ruby Walsh's mount warmed to his task and gradually crept closer to Nicky Henderson's leader but Barry Geraghty asked his mount for a big jump at the Pond Fence and got the response that he asked for.
Hinterland was about three lengths down with two to jump but couldn't get any closer as the leader continued to pour it on and the 4/7 favourite had three and a half lengths to spare at the line.
"That was great, " said Henderson. "He didn't really want to do it on his own but no one was going to help and Barry let him enjoy himself.
"That was very good for a big horse and he kept galloping and he was agile and tidy.
"I wouldn't rule out going further at some stage, but on that ground and a stiff track, we might as well as stay at two miles. He's not a slow horse."
Sky Bet cut Captain Conan to 5/1 from 8s for the Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival for which stablemate Simonsig just remains the ante-post favourite.