Samuel Spade was cut to a general 16-1 (from 20-1) for the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham after the odds-on favourite stormed home impressively under Luca Morgan.
Not many locals could recall a shorter-priced favourite at the track and the 2-13 runner overcame an exuberant jump at the first to land the 2m novice hurdle by 16 lengths for trainer Ben Pauling.
The winner was backing up a fine second to fellow Cheltenham hope Perseus Way in the Chatteris Fen Hurdle at the track in January.
"It wasn't ideal making the running but we didn't want a messy race," Morgan said. "He jumps left, so he'll be better going around Cheltenham. Kielan Woods is injured so the mount will be up for grabs and hopefully I could be in the mix."
James Davies produced a contender for ride of the month when getting Northern Poet home from an impossible early position in the 2m4f handicap chase.
The Nick Gifford-trained runner is aptly owned by the Hope Springs Syndicate, who needed all of their resolve when the 4-1 chance was tailed off last of the five runners on the first circuit.
The race gradually began to fall apart, however, with front-runner Rooster Cogburn folding on the turn for home before Northern Poet shot down favourite William Cody approaching the last.
Gifford said: "That was some ride from James but we knew there was plenty of pace in the race and we set out to pick up the pieces. In the end he's turned in a masterclass and that's a bonus, as originally we'd planned to run him at Chepstow on Saturday."
The market for the 2m4½f mares' novice hurdle was a battle of the syndicates but Poplar Cottage Racing Club eventually put one over Highclere Thoroughbreds when Blue Beach made a splash under Alex Edwards.
The 4-11 favourite was making just her third outing over hurdles but you would not have known it judging by the way she jumped at the head of affairs and she is an exciting prospect for her owners, who are in the midst of a busy period.
Winning trainer Mel Rowley said: "There is a good turnout from Poplar Cottage Racing Club and some of those not here today are off to Exeter tomorrow to see their other horse Prime Time Lady run."
On Blue Beach she said: "We shouldn't have run her at Hereford last time as she was not right and we gave her a break after that. She was fresh enough today and will be a lovely prospect over fences next season."
Blue Shark followed Blue Beach into the winner's enclosure in the 2m4½f handicap hurdle to notch a five-timer for trainer Jonjo O'Neill.
The winner was fittingly owned by The Ocean Partnership and stayed on strongly to see off Titanium Bullet in the hands of Jonjo O'Neill Jr.
The jockey said: "He's in a rich vein of form in this grade at the moment and has proved quite versatile in regards to trip. The owners love him and he knows where the winning post is."
James Bowen was taken to hospital for an x-ray on a suspected broken arm after falling from Mutual Respect when in contention two out in the closing 2m handicap hurdle.
Bowen, who has ridden 29 winners this term, remained on course for 15 minutes until he was stretchered into an ambulance and taken to Peterborough Hospital.
Read these next:
'He's been frustrating me' – 100,000gns purchase finally gets off the mark for Warren Greatrex
'We've been the bridesmaid too many times' – Bellagio Man back on top for Antony Brittain
Get 50% off for three months and access the expert advice of our top tipsters
It's festival time – get 50% off for three months! Now is the perfect time to subscribe and lock in 50% off your first three months, so you can take advantage of all the great content we've got coming up. To redeem this offer, head to the checkout and enter the code FESTIVAL23 at the payment screen to unlock your discount*. Subscribe now. Available to new subscribers purchasing Members' Club Ultimate Monthly using code FESTIVAL23. First three payments will be charged at £19.98, subscription renews at full monthly price thereafter. Customers wishing to cancel will need to contact us at least seven days before their subscription is due to renew.
Copyright © 2023 centurycomm limited or its licensors, all rights reserved