Edwardstone confirmed his superiority over Third Time Lucki with a faultless display in the Virgin Bet Kingmaker Novices’ Chase at Warwick on Saturday.

Alan King’s eight-year-old was already at the top of the list with some firms in the ante-post betting for the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham next month, and he is now as short as 7/4 favourite for the second race on Tuesday.

Having his fifth run of the season, Edwardstone had a Grade 1 in the bag from the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown when Dan Skelton’s Third Time Lucki was left trailing in his wake.

But Skelton was keen to have another crack at him, after Third Time Lucki strolled to victory in a Grade 2 at Doncaster.

Throw into the mix Venetia Williams’ progressive handicapper Brave Seasca and Alex Hales’ headstrong For Pleasure, it looked a really intriguing four-runner race.

However, when Tom Cannon moved the 10/11 market leader up alongside For Pleasure down the back straight the rest were soon out of their comfort zone.

Even though Harry Skelton had not asked for everything on Third Time Lucki at the third-last, the usual smooth-traveller was going quicker than he wanted to and that showed when he made a mistake.

Edwardstone scooted away over the final two fences to win by four and a quarter lengths, to set himself up perfectly for his Festival assignment.