Cloth Cap was cut to a 6-1 favourite (Paddy Power, bet365) for the Randox Grand National after an easy success at Kelso on Saturday afternoon under Tom Scudamore.
The Jonjo O’Neill charge was an impressive winner of the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury in November.
And his National credentials were further enhanced this weekend with a Scottish rout of a field for which he was the lowest rated horse before the off.
His mark of 148 was not compromised by connections after his pre-Christmas victory in Berkshire.
Owner Trevor Hemmings will now be salivating at his preparation ahead of the Merseyside feature next month as he chases a remarkable fourth win in the race.
Hedgehunter, Ballabriggs and Many Clouds supplied previous heroics for the 85-year-old in 2005, 2011 and 2015, respectively.
And his next potential superstar was a noticeable market mover with bookmakers in the wake of the Listed bet365 Premier Chase.
Former Irish Grand National winner Burrows Saint is second in the betting (14-1) for trainer Willie Mullins, holding a same price as this season’s Welsh National victor Secret Reprieve.
Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Santini is also a 14-1 shot, ahead of Tom Lacey’s Kimberlite Candy (16-1).
It was announced earlier in the week that two-time winner and reigning champion Tiger Roll will not bid for a third stint and second defence of his crown.
The Gigginstown House Stud owned National Hunt legend scored in Liverpool on back-to-back occasions between 2018 and 2019 under Davy Russell. 2020’s
Grand National meeting was cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.