Having crept up 6lbs in the handicap for finishing runner-up on two of his last three starts, Wings Of Smoke looked to have a tough task at Haydock Park yesterday, bidding to defy a career high mark of 129.

However, given an excellent waiting ride by Richard Johnson, he jumped and travelled well through the race and, despite hitting the front a little earlier than could be considered ideal for one that rarely finds a huge amount off the bridle, he kept on well on to win by just over a length.

Without the visor he had worn on his last three starts and winning for the first time on soft ground, this success opens up a few more options for him in future and there is a possibility he could stay in training now rather than go on a summer break, though this is something that will be discussed with his owner Dave Pearn.