Safferano has been much-improved since returning from a short summer break and, having won narrowly in a driving finish at Towcester in October, he made it two wins from his last three starts with another battling success in the 2m7f handicap hurdle at Fakenham.

Held up in the early stages, he moved up on the final circuit but looked book for second entering the straight, only for Richard Johnson to conjure up a strong, late run to get up close home.

Congratulations to his owner, Royston Smith, who has also had recent success with Hawkhill at Sandown Park earlier this month.