Silver Streak set up a positive return to Grade One company simply by securing back-to-back victories in the Race TV Hurdle at Kempton.
The Evan Williams-trained seven-year-old made his first start since completing sixth in the Champion Hurdle the triumphant one – with success in the same two-mile Listed competition he landed on his return to actions 12 months ago.
Even though one of the first to come under pressure rounding the house turn, the 9-2 shot replied well to move through and complete long-time leader Diego Du Charmil over the second last before creating a decisive advantage.
Once in command, Sliver Ability maintained his gallop all the way towards the line to defeat odds-on much-loved, and the 2018 winner of this competition, Verdana Blue by six . 5 lengths.
Williams stated: “Ground is important to him, and has run good races within the past.
“Verdana Glowing blue is a smashing mare and she has been doing nothing wrong – but below his right conditions, our equine is a smart horse. They haven’t eliminated quick enough really for us.
“They have quickened from your last down the back into the flex – which caused a bit of scrimmaging. If our horse had a hard-run race it would be a different job once again. ”
Williams experienced plenty of praise for winning driver Tom O’Brien, who was deputising as the grey’s regular partner Adam Sand wedge serves a suspension.
He said: “Adam Wedge is certainly banned, and he would have ridden your pet. Horse racing is a funny old game : and you get good times and poor times.
“A great deal of people have short memories – (but) I like to think I’ve a good one. Ben has been good to me in the past. this individual deserved the ride today, and has done a fine job. ”
All roads for Gold Streak will lead back to another shot at the Champion Hurdle, that he was introduced at 33-1 by Paddy Power.
But a return to the Fighting 5th at Newcastle, in which he completed third last year, could be first.
Williams added: “The Combating Fifth would have to be on the plan, because the track would suit provided that it doesn’t get very deep.
“It’s very easy to go for any Grade Two, and that could be the practical option, but I do think he has the Grade One in him.
“He deserves to earn one of the very good races, because I believe he has got the talent (to do it).
“He does love fast ground, and am would love to run him in a fast-ground Champion Hurdle. ”
A classy race inevitably recorded a fast time on fast ground — but trainer Nicky Henderson sensed a stronger gallop would have suited Verdana Blue much better.
He said: “She will stay very well, as we have seen to the Flat, but it turned into a bit of a run.
“She had almost everything in her favour, but they proceeded to go no pace at all. She has obtained a turn of foot — but it is hard to use it, arriving off that pace. ”