Song For Someone struck for the youngsters in the Grade 2 Coral Ascot Hurdle as he got the better of his elders under Nico de Boinville.
A disappointing field of just three runners lined up to fight for the £22,780 first prize and it was the five-year-old that skipped clear of the two labouring seven-year-olds in the style of a progressive horse.
It was a first run of the season for Tom Symonds' charge, but he'd proven his liking for this course when second in a good handicap behind Thomas Darby back in January and he also won first-time out the last campaign, too.
Sent off the 11/4 outsider of three, backers rarely had a moment's worry as he dominated from the front end with Laurina quickly throwing the towel in after the turn for home.
Call Me Lord was left to chase the leader down, but he couldn't make significant inroads and Song For Someone bounded clear for a convincing five-length win.
Symonds said: “The way he won the Kingwell really sat with us and kept us going through lockdown. On that day we saw a different dynamic to him, as he won on a sharp track on good ground, which I didn’t think he would be able to do.
“Today he was quite fresh early on, Nico said. He came in quite early as we have had a few early targets, but the one I wanted to go for was this, as he had run so well here before on this ground. He loves this type of park track.
“His hurdling is brilliant. He is so technically accurate, it is a joy to watch. At home it is quite scary as you can’t school him slowly as he hits everything, but if you go flat out, that’s when you see him at his best.”
Symonds, a former assistant to Henderson, added: “I know Nico from the early days and I remember him leading me on Long Run round the bowl in Lambourn before his Gold Cup win.
“He just kept it very simple and the horse likes it simple like that, as he can keep going. He is a fabulous horse, he is so unassuming. I’m delighted for the team as they have been great.
“The plans are I don’t know what. It would not be my style to go for the Fighting Fifth as these races, no matter how easy it looks, take a lot out of the horses. I’m thinking you could look at the International Hurdle or the Christmas Hurdle, but the ground would need to be soft.”
Song For Someone earned quotes of 25/1 with Coral and 33/1 with Betfair for the Champion Hurdle in March, but Symonds said: “He is a really good horse, but whether he has the tactical speed for a Champion Hurdle, I don’t know. The one I thought he would have run well in is the one last season as it was real soft ground, but the track would suit him.
“It might be we go to the International Hurdle and have a go at that. He did win a Kingwell on good ground, but I don’t think Kempton is his track. It’s a lovely problem to have, but you just want to do right by the horse.”