Eduard ran out an impressive winner of the Arcadia Consulting William Dickie & Mary Robertson Future Champion Novices' Chase at Ayr.
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The six-year-old was facing a steep rise in class following his course and distance success in early March but his potential saw him sent off the 7/4 second favourite behind Arkle fifth Valdez.
The latter raced wide throughout the two and a half mile Grade Two contest and the race quickly developed into a match between the big two.
The writing was on the wall for supporters of Alan King's favourite with Choc Thornton getting lower in the saddle as the pair rounded the turn for home.
In contrast, Brian Harding still hadn't moved aboard Eduard who had soon seen off his rival in the straight and the pair only needed to pop the last to record a stylish 20 length success.
Harding said: "We've always thought he was a good horse. He hasn't had a good year with the ground and one or two other niggles, he hasn't had the racing we thought he would.
"At the start of the year we thought he'd end up going to one of the bigger festivals, but he showed today, even though he was still novicey, he's getting there and he's got an engine."
The winning trainer, Nicky Richards, added: "He's done everything we've asked of him and I wasn't surprised at the way he's won today.
"Next season we may give him run in a little race, possibly at Carlisle, and then perhaps have a run in the Old Roan at Aintree, but we will have to see how we go along."