Champion Bumper joint favourite kicks for home at SouthwellPICTURE: Martin Lynch
Bumper fancy Knight Pass saunters to success
Report: Wednesday, Southwell
Southwell-racecourse.co.uk Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (Class 6) 4-6yo, 2m
A LEISURELY victory for Wayne Hutchinson and Knight Pass in the falling light at Southwell proved the perfect tonic for odds-on punters battered by Bellvano's flop in the day's opener.
Both horses had connections eyeing up Cheltenham but it is Knight Pass who ends the day at the top of Festival lists, as 10-1 joint favourite with Paddy Power, Bet365 and Boylesports for the Wetherbys Champion Bumper.
Trainer Warren Greatrex said: "He's class. Wayne said it was no more than a piece of work for him.
"Cheltenham is the objective, but I haven't decided if he will run before. There is a Listed bumper at Newbury in February."
The five-year-old, winner of his sole previous start at Sandown in November, was sent off 1-2 favourite and won in the manner expected, restrained in the middle by Hutchinson before effortlessly gathering in his rivals.
He was eased down before the line to win by four lengths from debutant Gores Island.