Eva’s Oskar ensured we didn’t have to wait too long for our first winner of the new campaign, making his final start before heading out for a summer break a winning one when successful at Hexham yesterday under Alan Johns.

Having run very creditably in defeat in two competitive handicaps around Newbury, he looked to have an excellent chance back in level-weights company yesterday and so it proved, as he took up the running at the bottom of the hill and stayed on really well under Alan Johns, who never really needed to get too serious on the son of Shirocco.

He has looked a work in progress this season and looks just the type to improve again with another summer on his back. He remains a novice over hurdles until next May and hopefully he can land a nice prize when he returns in the autumn for his owners Sally and Richard Prince.