Paul Nicholls’s charge had disappointed on her return to action after over a year off the track at Kempton last December, but after bouncing back to form at this track last month, she made a swift return pay off in the hands of Harry Cobden.
Sent off the 5-2 favourite, Tagrita demonstrated plenty of guts to see off Somerset Jem by three-and-a-half lengths in the two-mile-five-furlong heat.
Nicholls said: “That was good and Harry gave her a great ride. I said if there was not much pace do what you want and either get a lead or make the running.
“We will keep her to the same sort of races and I imagine she will go up 7lb for that, so life won’t get any easier for her. She has won four times at this racecourse, so she seems to like it here. She is in at Exeter on Friday, but I doubt she will go there.”
Nicholls had earlier struck gold with Pacha Du Polder, who secured a landmark victory for dual Olympic champion cyclist Victoria Pendleton in the Betfair Switching Saddles Hunters’ Chase .
However, he suffered an earlier reverse as Sainte Ladylime (6-1) created a minor surprise as she landed the opening Betfair Acca Edge Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at the expense of Nicholls’s odds-on favourite Antartica De Thaix.
The latter was sent off a 4-9 shot after winning at Taunton last time out, but Sam Twiston-Davies appeared to be in trouble some way out, as Sainte Ladylime cruised by with two to jump. Kim Bailey’s charge stretched clear for David Bass, eventually winning by 13 lengths with a further 26 lengths back to third-placed Shanandoa.
The winning handler said: “She was very free in her bumpers, but we thought she would win at Doncaster last time, but she never settled the whole way through the race.
“We put a different bridle on her today and also rode her slightly handier, as we had her in the pack last time and that didn’t work. She still pulled too much today and David could not pull her up either. We will keep running her now and try to find a handy track for her.”
Bailey and Bass were also celebrating after the Betfair Exchange Novices’ Hurdle when Dueling Banjos (6-5 favourite) strung them out, winning by 23 lengths.
La Vaticane (15-8 favourite) enjoyed a slice of good fortune as Vic De Touzaine crashed out at the penultimate obstacle in the Betfair Authorised Betting Partner Of British Racing Handicap Chase,
leaving Tom Scudamore in control on the David Pipe-trained market leader and the pair came home 23 lengths clear of Ratify.
Scudamore said: “It would have been very close when Aidan came down at the second last. It was certainly not over as, although I was going OK, I couldn’t say that I was definitely going to win the race.
“It was good to get her head back in front as that will have done her confidence some good.”