Last season’s Imperial Cup winner Iceo made a seamless transition to the larger obstacles with a winning chasing debut at Newton Abbot.
The Paul Nicholls-trained five-year-old rates as one of several top novice chasing prospects for the champion trainer this season along with the likes of Stay Away Fay, Hermes Allen and Knappers Hill.
Jumping well in the main throughout for Harry Cobden, the 4-9 favourite eased clear of only two rivals to win the Aubrey Loze Memorial Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase by 12 lengths.
“He’s always been a bit keen and not always the easiest ride but that will have done him good,” Cobden told Sky Sports Racing.
“He’s done loads of schooling in our indoor school this year but we haven’t been able to school him on the grass or anything like that.
“He was brilliant, he tanked on down to the first and was very good. I think he’s going to be a really smart horse in time.
“It was proper soft ground. He could just be one that would turn up in the Henry VIII or possibly a Pendil later in the season.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if he had a Grade Two next to his name at the end of the year.”