THISTHATANDTOTHER gave a scintillating display of racing on his debut over fences a year ago at Bangor-on-Dee.
This Saturday he is poised for the first major championship race of the 2004-5 jumping season - the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham.
A fall at the National Hunt Festival last March is the only blemish in his career to date. And he's already proved he can win at Cheltenham when he followed up his Bangor-on-Dee victory 12 months ago at the Gloucestershire racecourse.
But Saturday's race - for which the eight-year-old trained by Paul Nicholls is a 16-1 chance with the book-makers - is his toughest challenge to date.
The two-and-a-half-mile Paddy Power Gold Cup is a race in which the Champion Trainer Martin Pipe has specialised since the millennium. He's sent out the winner in three of the last four years. And in Our Vic he was due to saddle the ante-post favourite for the renewal this weekend.
Our Vic was among my half-dozen suggestions in last week's column of horses to follow during the rest of the 2004/5 jumping season. But he was ruled out of the Cheltenham race on Monday after sustaining an injury in training.
Some of my other horses have already been in action with mixed fortunes.
Comply Or Die followed up his impressive winning performance at Bangor-on-Dee by taking a Grade Two novices' chase at Wincanton last Saturday.
Paddy The Piper was sent off a short-priced favourite at Ayr on the same day, but unseated his jockey. He could make a quick reappearance to atone at Newcastle this Friday.
Rigmarole ran sluggishly at Win-canton and is now also likely to take a trip to Newcastle for the Fighting Fifth Hurdle later this month.