Ballyoptic warmed up for a second outing in the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree in April with an impressive front-running victory in the Keltbray Swinley Chase.
The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained 10-year-old ground his rivals into submission with a near foot-perfect round of jumping in the three-mile Listed prize to add to earlier victories this season at Chepstow and in the Grade Two Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.
Finding plenty for pressure from the sharp end, Ballyoptic, who fell at the fourth-last in the Aintree marathon 12 months ago, stayed on well to defeat Valtor by eight and a half lengths.
Twiston-Davies said of the 8-1 winner: "That was very good. It was a proper Grand National trial and the handicapper can't do anything with the weight.
"He is a better horse this season than when he fell at the fourth-last (in the National) last year when he was going OK.
"When you have got a horse like this, you go straight to the National now. It was difficult old ground out there, but he really finished the race off very well.
"He has won three races this season and seems to be improving. I'd imagine he will be Sam's (Twiston-Davies) ride."