Arkle Trophy favourite Altior recorded his first Grade One success since his switch to fences with victory in the Racing Post Henry VIII Novices' Chase at Sandown.
Unbeaten in five outings over the smaller obstacles, culminating in a seven-length success from Min in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, Nicky Henderson's star was the 2-7 favourite against three useful rivals and backed up his fencing debut success in a two-runner affair at Kempton with aplomb.
Marracudja set a good pace with Charbel never far away before challenging for the lead from out, while Altior tracked the front pair and took closer order for Noel Fehily as Charbel went on at the second-last.
Altior ranged alongside and jumped the final fence better than his main rival, quickly pulling quickly clear to score by a stylish six lengths.
Fehily said: "I thought he was very good in the second half of the race, he launched at the ditch the first time and he launched at one down the back, but I spent so much time trying to switch him off that maybe I might have let him go a bit cold on me.
"When I switched him back on he jumped great the second half. I was most impressed with him going to the last, I was a length down, he winged it and in two strides he was three lengths clear.
"I thought it was very impressive."
Henderson added: "Apart from one 'yahoo' launch down the back, I thought he was very good.
"It was always going to be a test. There was always going to be a big gallop on with confirmed front-runners, although I'm not sure if they went that quick.
"He's very classy. We ummed and ahhed about whether to stay hurdling or go chasing with him. I still say we're down the right route, but he would still be a Champion Hurdle horse if you wanted.
"Noel says he has so much scope, that's why we are chasing not hurdling.
"I think Kempton at Christmas would be the obvious place to go next and then regroup after that."