Kumbeshwar: eased to a 16-length success at Plumpton on MondayPICTURE: Getty
Kumbeshwar 14-1 for festival after easy victory
KUMBESHWAR was introduced at 14-1 with Paddy Power for the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival after he posted his second victory over fences at Plumpton on Monday.
Trained by Alan King and owned by the McNeill family and Nigel Bunter, Kumbeshwar finished second to Zaynar at Ascot on his previous start but bounced back in the best possible way as he eased to a 16-length success in the 2m1f novice chase.
Always at the head of affairs, the 4-11 favourite jumped well for Wayne Hutchinson before stretching clear up the run-in to score from 2-1 second-favourite Criqtonic.
Should Kumbeshwar go on to secure Cheltenham success in March he will pocket connections a £60,000 bonus, as Monday's race is one of six novice chases that forms part of Plumpton's Cheltenham Bonus Scheme.
King was pleased with the performance and plans to get plenty of match practice into Kumbeshwar before Cheltenham.
Alan King: two winners at PlumptonPICTURE: Edward Whitaker
"I won't wrap him up as he loves his racing," said King. "I would imagine he's a Grand Annual horse or maybe the Byrne Group Plate but he will have plenty of entries as he could go further as he was second over two and a half to Zaynar at Ascot."
King and Hutchinson were securing a double on the card after the first-race victory of Balder Succes in the 2m novice hurdle.
Balder Succes looks another exciting juvenile from the King yard, who enjoyed success in this division with Grumeti and Vendor last week.
However, King said Balder Succes may not have the experience to take in the JCB Triumph Hurdle.
"I don't think he is a Triumph Hurdle horse, not because he hasn't got the quality but because this was only his second race.
"As he never ran on the Flat, there is the national hunt novice route to go with him," added King.