Nicky Henderson will be forced to make an about-turn with plans for Duc De Regniere, who provided the trainer with part of an extraordinary 404-1 four-timer at Newbury.
While the toteswinger Long Distance Hurdle was overshadowed by an injury sustained by three-times previous winner Inglis Drever, it was still a decent performance from a horse for whom the race was something of an afterthought.
Stable jockey Barry Geraghty decided to travel to Newcastle but when the meeting was abandoned he was unable to return to Berkshire and Tony McCoy reaped the rewards on every occasion.
Duc De Regniere (9-1) moved sweetly into the lead at the second-last and was good value for a five-length defeat of Mobaasher and Pettifour.
With triple Ladbrokes World Hurdle hero Inglis Drever’s participation in doubt now, the Cheltenham market had an overhaul with the sponsors making Duc De Regniere the 6-1 second-favourite behind 3-1 shot Kasbah Bliss.
“In fairness we only went hurdling to get his confidence back to return to chasing but it looks like we are going to have a rethink,” said Henderson.
“He’s still an unfurnished horse and you would have to look at something like the Long Walk at Ascot now.
“It has been a wonderful day. It is unfortunate for Barry as he was stuck in Newcastle. There was even talk of a helicopter this morning but he couldn’t get back.
“It was difficult too, as I had agreed with AP on Monday for him to ride all of the horses here.”
McCoy added: “They went no pace and it was always going to suit my horse. As long as I could keep him in contention I knew he had a good chance of winning and the race really played into his hands.”
Petit Robin was subject of plenty of racecourse whispers and despite being backed into as short as 4-5 favourite for the UK Hygiene Handicap Chase, the money was never in doubt on the five-year-old’s return from a near 12-month absence.
“I am quite glad it is over as he can be a bit rapid at times over his fences, but he was sensible today,” continued Henderson.
“We are in the lap of the handicapper now and I expect he will have quite a lot to say about it. He’s a real two-miler and he will stick to that.”
Victor Chandler introduced him at 16-1 for the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
The combination were also on song with Shouldhavehadthat (7-2), who took advantage of his rivals’ misdemeanours in the totesport 0800 221 221 Novices’ Handicap Chase.
On his first run since some rectification of a wind problem and a summer move from Ferdy Murphy, he was left well clear by the last and the combination negotiated the fence safely to come home seven lengths clear of 3-1 favourite Tricky Trickster.
Henderson’s enjoyment was greatly supplemented when Classic Fiddle (4-1) a daughter of his fine mare Fiddling The Facts, ran away with the totesport.com Handicap Chase.
There was an important winner for up-and-coming Welsh handler Tim Vaughan as his Helens Vision (11-1) ousted ex-Henderson inmate Khyber Kim in the totescoop6 Gerry Fielden Intermediate Hurdle.
Cockney Trucker, third to the useful Dee Ee Williams on his jumping debut at Cheltenham, justified odds of 11-8 in the Greyhounds Make Great Pets Novices’ Hurdle.
“I am very, very pleased with that as I had a slight doubt about the ground with him being by Presenting and I thought he could do with a bit further,” explained trainer Philip Hobbs.
“Richard (Johnson) said we should stick to two miles on this ground. It was only his fourth run and I think we’ll go for another ordinary race for more experience.”