Kasbah Bliss staked a claim on the Ladbrokes World Hurdle as Barry Keniry guided the French raider to a silky-smooth triumph in the RealHolidayReports.com Rendlesham Hurdle.
Tough-as-teak Lough Derg was still the one to pass heading to the final flight but Francois Doumen’s six-year-old was stalking him at close quarters, and eased past on the run-in to score by four lengths.
The World Hurdle sponsors, along with totesport, cut Kasbah Bliss into 8-1 from 25s for the Cheltenham event, with the latter also easing fourth-placed Wichita Lineman out to 10-1 from 5s.
Doumen, who twice saddled Baracouda to victory in the stayers’ hurdle, said: “I thought the race would bring him on for the World Hurdle, but he has gone and proven himself.
“He will now go to Cheltenham and will like better ground there.
“It is difficult to replace Baracouda but he is coming up, is still very young and is getting there.”
He added: “Frank Berry recommended Barry to me and he gave the horse a splendid ride.”