TAHMURAS showed his Worth with a dominant Grade 1 win at Sandown.
Paul Nicholls’ exciting youngster forged clear in the Tolworth Hurdle and put himself firmly in the picture for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Tahmuras was an easy winner of the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown
And his success capped a stunning fortnight for the champion trainer, who bagged the King George and Challow Hurdle with Bravemansgame and Hermes Allen respectively over Christmas.
On paper the Tolworth looked a fiercely competitive race – but races aren’t run on paper and Tahmuras turned out to be in a league of his own.
He could be called the winner at the foot of Sandown’s gruelling home straight as he cruised alongside the long-time leader Colonel Harry.
By this point his main market rivals Authorised Speed and Arctic Bresil had hoisted the white flag, the latter proving especially disappointing under Rachael Blackmore.
But Tahmuras quickened easily through the mud, only briefly giving his supporters a scare when he star-gazed in the final few strides.
This victory will have gone a long way to ironing out any issues with inexperience, and he is now a general 10-1 shot for the Supreme in March.
Winning jock Harry Cobden reckons he heads to the Festival with a rock-solid chance.
He said: “I’ve been fortunate to ride some good ones in the last fortnight and he is definitely a very good one.
“I couldn’t believe how well I was travelling, some of the other fancied ones came off the bridle and I was cantering all over them.
“The only time he has been beaten was in a bumper at Ffos Las and he is only going to progress from here.
“Hopefully we haven’t seen the best of our young horses. We have a lot of nice young ones coming through. Paul has his foot on the gas on that front.
“I would be disappointed if he couldn’t finish in the first four (at Cheltenham), he is clearly one of the best in this country, it just depends what the Irish bring.”
In the £100,000 Veteran’s Final, 13-year-old Wishing And Hoping sprung a huge 50-1 shock for Shropshire trainer Mel Rowley.
This was by far her biggest winner since taking out a trainer’s licence – though her husband Phil trained Hazel Hill to win the Foxhunters’ at Cheltenham in 2019.
He said: “This is a huge day for the yard. We have had some big days in good races before but this is right up there.
“It was slightly scary when he got in tight to the last but he jumped brilliantly overall. We are over the moon.”