Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon hopes Vulcanite’s smooth success at Stratford on Saturday will prove a stepping stone to better things.

The seven-year-old, who had been disappointing earlier this season, showed the benefit of a wind operation when coming home two and a half lengths clear of Gifted Leader in the extended two-mile handicap hurdle under Noel Fehily.

And Longsdon said: “On his old form it is not a surprise at all and it’s a step in the right direction.

“He had a wind operation around Christmas time and was meant to be ready for the Imperial Cup.

“A small hiccup at home meant he did not run until Saturday, but the wait was worthwhile and I hope this win will restore a bit of his confidence.

“I hope he can now go on to achieve what he looked like achieving a couple of years ago.”

Meanwhile, Longsdon is set to take a small team to Aintree for the Grand National meeting, starting on Thursday.

Spirit Of Shankly, Killala Quay, Battle Born, Our Kaempfer, Hazy Tom, No No Romeo and Kilcooley are set to make the trip north.

“It is exciting that most of them are novices as it shows that we have a decent crew of youngsters coming through,” added the trainer.