The New One silenced some of his doubters with a clear-cut victory over his rivals in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.
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The 1/2 favourite never had to come out of second gear under Sam Twiston-Davies and is now 8/1 from 14/1 with Sky Bet to win the championship contest of the same name at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Mickie stayed on steadily to finish second, well ahead of third-home Hold Court, but was never able to get anywhere near the winner who sauntered home by 16 lengths.
The winner had been returning from an absence of nearly three months since winning impressively at Cheltenham in October, but showed no sign of rustiness.
"He seems to have so much speed and staying power and it's a shame we haven't really learned anything, as some of the others didn't go in the ground and he wasn't tested," said trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies.
"He won but we still don't know enough about him and that encourages me to look at the programme book and find another two-and-a-half-miler for him in order to give him some more experience."
Sarah Such, joint-owner of the winner, was out of breath after cheering The New One home and exclaimed: "Amazing! I can't breathe. He is absolutely wonderful, a really special horse."
His jockey Sam Twiston-Davies added: "The sky is the limit."