Signs were evident at Newton Abbot that the National Hunt season was about to kick into gear as Nigel Twiston-Davies unleashed some of his better inmates and registered a double.
The New One and Moulin De La Croix were both odds-on favourites, and while the latter is unlikely to be contesting any major prizes in the spring, The New One is one for the future. He ran in four bumpers last season, winning three times, including in the Aintree championship event, with his only defeat coming at the Cheltenham Festival.
Making his debut over timber in the opening novices hurdle, Sam Twiston-Davies was forced to make his own running on the well-backed 2/7 favourite, but the result was never in doubt with the Paul Nicholls-trained Roger Beantown some 26 lengths adrift in second.
"I was a bit nervous beforehand, it's horrid when they are meant to win as a lot can go wrong," said the winning trainer. "He jumped well for his first time in public -- he's only four and it was his fifth race. Hopefully he'll be at the first big Cheltenham meeting."
Moulin De Le Croix (10/11 favourite) later eased to victory in the two-mile handicap chase, while the trainer also had two seconds on the card with Double Ross and Red Riverman.
Meanwhile, Twiston-Davies reports Imperial Commander to be in good shape after welcoming back his 2010 Gold Cup hero into training, with Haydock's Betfair Chase in late November his intended comeback target. "The early signs are positive and hopefully he'll be at Haydock at the end of November."