Gitane Du Berlais: 14-1 (from 50) for the JLT Novices' ChasePICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Gitane jumps into Cheltenham picture
Report: Sandown, Saturday
Betfred TV Scilly Isles Novices' Chase (Grade 1) 2m41/2f
IRISH raider Gitane Du Berlais trounced her rivals to land the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase in fine fashion under a confident ride from Daryl Jacob.
Her impressive victory prompted Paddy Power to slash her odds for glory at the Cheltenham Festival, going 14-1 (from 50) for the JLT Novices' Chase.
The Willie Mullins-trained mare led from pillar to post and none of her rivals could live with her pace and accurate jumping, as she eventually won by an easy eight lengths, with Irish Saint in second.
Victory provided Mullins with his first chase winner in Britain this season and coming into the home straight it never looked in any doubt.
The Philip Hobbs-trained Champagne West was sent off favourite for the Grade 1 contest, but did not jump fluently and fell four out leaving only Irish Saint and Grumeti to chase the leader who was travelling comfortably.
When Irish Saint began to feel the pinch, Jacob only needed a shake of the reins on his mount and the mare cantered away to seal an easy victory.
Anthony Bromley, racing manager to winning owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, said: "I thought we might be going for the novice handicap as I thought she might get beat today. She is in the Arkle, JLT and RSA so we'll speak to Mr Mullins once she's home and see.
"The idea was to see if she was a Grade 1 horse for Cheltenham, I wasn't quite sure she was, but that was good wasn't it?"