Bravemansgame proved to be the novice king at Christmas as he proved too strong for Ahoy Senor in landing the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton.
In a race where jumping proved pivotal, Bravemansgame had the edge in jumping accuracy and speed over his main market rival, with Harry Cobden nudging his mount clear for an impressive success for Ditcheat handler Paul Nicholls.
Ahoy Senor made crucial mistakes in the final straight, eventually finishing over seven lengths back for the Grand National-winning team of Derek Fox and Lucinda Russell.
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Broomfield Burg (1/3) got favourite backers off to the perfect start with a bloodless success in the Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side On Football Novices’ Hurdle, cruising to victory under Nico De Boinville for Nicky Henderson and JP McManus.
He travelled sweetly in behind before being pulled out and taking up the running between the final two hurdles to sprint clear and land the short odds, ahead of Black Poppy for Kerry Lee back in second.
That victory prompted Sky Bet to cut the five-year-old into 25/1 from 40/1 for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
The Get Your Ladbrokes 1 Free Bet Today Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase was a race of changing complexion, with Jacamar staying on best of all under Danny Mullins to provide Milton Harris with another big-race winner.
Danny Kirwan and Your Darling battled it out early on, with the latter trading as short as 1.08 in running, but couldn’t hold off the closers in the soft ground as Jacamar powered home in the final stages.
Mister Coffey was back in second after a round of jumping that included several violent leaps out to his left, with jockey Sean Bowen straightening him up to finish well in the closing stages.