American defied top weight in style when taking his unbeaten record over fences to three with an impressive victory in the Betfred TV Novices' Handicap Chase at Uttoxeter.

Trainer Harry Fry's decision to sidestep the RSA Chase at Cheltenham because the ground was not soft enough proved a wise one, as American looked a cut above the opposition with a classy display of jumping in the testing conditions.

Noel Fehily, fresh from his wins in the Champion Hurdle and Champion Chase at Cheltenham, enjoyed an armchair ride on the 2-1 favourite.

Always prominent as Newtown Lad made most of the running, American led after jumping the fifth-last fence and steadily pulled clear to win by eight lengths from Rock The Kasbah. Crosspark was a further seven lengths away in third.

Fehily said: "This is a lovely horse. I like him a lot. He jumped fantastic. It's very testing ground and even he was getting tired. He's a good horse.

"He loves that ground. I think the ground at Cheltenham would have been too quick for him. Harry wanted to keep him in one piece and rightly so."