WARRNAMBOOL-trained jumper Britannicus jumped into Brierly Steeplechase contention with an impressive victory in a open steeplechase at his home track on Friday.
Britannicus, with Aaron Lynch in the saddle, defeated stablemate American In Paris and Master Poet in the feature race on on the seven-race program.
Trainer Symon Wilde said Britannicus might not have run again before the Brierly Steeplechase on May 3.
"I think we'll go straight into the Brierly," Wilde told The Standard.
"I was really happy with his win. Britannicus has come into work a lot stronger this year.
"He improved on the back of his run in the 'chase at Terang last week. I'm just hoping we don't get a real heavy track for the Brierly.
"He's a bit of a duffer on real heavy ground but he's comfortable on soft tracks.
"American In Paris showed he's ready for a good preparation in running second. He's been behind in his fitness but that run should bring him on a lot. We'll try and find a suitable jumping race for American In Paris at Warrnambool's May Carnival."
Britannicus' win was the first leg of a double for Lynch. His other winner was Deploy and Destroy in a maiden flat high-weight race.
Champion jumps jockey Steven Pateman gave a glowing report after the Gai Waterhouse-Adrian Bott runner Hush Writer won a maiden hurdle.
"It was a very good win," he said. "I thought he might have been a bit green but he ran really well. I think he'll have a bright future in the jumping ranks."
Second-season jumper St Arnicca kept his unbeaten record intact, winning a open hurdle.
Trainer Paul Preusker said he would look at running St Arnicca in the Galleywood Hurdle on the middle day of the Warrnambool carnival.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.