Lostinstranslation got the better of Defi Du Seuil in a good scrap for the Betbright Dipper Novices' Chase at Cheltenham.
It hadn't all been plain sailing for Colin Tizzard's promising seven-year-old since being sent over fences this season, but it finally all came together under Robbie Power.
Lostinstranslation, second and third after making jumping mistakes in a couple of Newbury races behind subsequent Kauto Star Novices' Chase winner La Bague Au Roi since returning from the summer off, set out to make all the running and jumped with accuracy throughout, while Black Op - who had narrowly denied the winner at Aintree over hurdles last spring - made some costly errors.
Nicky Henderson's chasing newcomer On The Blind Side was bitterly disappointing, ponderous at his fences and never able to land a blow having been off the pace from the outset.
Defi Du Seuil, however, was the one to lay down a strong challenge to Lostintranslation, seemingly tanking his way through the race for Barry Geraghty and emerging alongside the leader at the second last.
He took up a clear advantage between the final two fences but Lostintranslation fought back on the climb to the line and stayed on strongly to score quite cosily by a length and a quarter at 3/1.
Sky Bet make Lostinstranslation an 8/1 chance in their NRNB antepost market for the JLT Novices' Chase at the Festival in March and their Michael Shinners said: "Stamina appeared to win the day for Lostinstranslation and while a couple of the leading contenders appeared to run below expectations, this race looks sure to have a major impact on the spring festivals.
"We've gone 8/1 for the JLT and 14/1 for the RSA Chase with Colin Tizzard clearly having a very talented and improving young horse on his hands."
Tizzard said: "We all know what Defi Du Seuil has done before, but my horse does look like a stayer now. He's a beautiful, big, old-fashioned chaser and I'm sure he'll be going up in distance a bit more.
"I was amazed when he got beat at Newbury (on his first run over fences) as he did everything right, but the one that beat him was La Bague Au Roi and next time he made a helluva mistake.
"He showed a good attitude today and when he got in tight he was good at the fences.
"He could be our next good one, I think. We've been blessed to have Cue Card, Thistlecrack and Native River and this one is right in the same groove ability-wise as they were at this stage of their career."
The Dorset handler raised the possibility of Lostintranslation making his next appearance in the Flogas Novice Chase at Leopardstown in February.
He added: "It was quite interesting to hear Robbie Power saying he should be a JLT horse (rather than RSA Chase), but for me, it looked like his stamina kicked in.
"The owner said we ought to think about going to Leopardstown. That's news to me, but it's a long time before the Cheltenham Festival and I would think he'll run again.
"We'll have a look at Leopardstown, but it's just lovely to win here today. He's a lovely creature and hopefully he can go on and run in a Gold Cup one day."