After losing his unbeaten record over fences when he fell at Exeter, the eight-year-old regained the winning thread with a three-length success in the extended two-and-a-half-mile contest to complete doubles for jockey Barry Geraghty and owner JP McManus.
Nicholls, who won this race 12 months ago with Politologue, said of the 8-15 favourite: "It was a good race for him after his fall last time out and that is why these races are so good for these sort of horses. He had that fall and we just gave him time to get over that. He had schooled well and hopefully he can progress from there. He jumped well and did that nicely."
The trainer added: "The JLT is the obvious race with him. Two miles would be a bit sharp but two and a half suits him well."
Nicky Henderson rarely leaves the Sunbury track without a winner and Ok Corral (even-money favourite) continued that trend when initiating braces for Geraghty and McManus with a seven-length success in the Commission Free Racing At Matchbook Novices' Hurdle.
The Seven Barrows handler said: "That was the first time actually that he has had two races continually as he usually has a run then a problem. We are waiting to go over fences next year."
It will be doughnuts, rather than drinks, all round for trainer Chris Gordon after Commanche Red (11-1) provided owner Richard Cheshire, who is also managing director of Krispy Kreme UK, with a first winner in division one of the bumper.
Gordon said: "It is just lovely to have these young horses and he (Cheshire) is a very sensible fellow that lets me get on with it.
"My big picture for him is that he will be a nice chaser in about three years' time.
"Aintree is definitely an option."
A trip to Aintree in April could also be on the cards for Sevarano (16-1) after he made an impressive debut when taking division two by seven lengths.
Trainer Oliver Sherwood said: "It was nice to see and I'm delighted for Tim Syder (owner) as he has not had much luck. He did it really impressively.
"I'd probably go to Aintree rather than Cheltenham as I'm not a big fan of the Cheltenham Bumper."
Bryony Frost warmed up for her ride on Diego Du Charmil in the Kingmaker Novices' Chase at Warwick on Saturday by steering the Suzi Best-trained Alberta (25-1) to a two-length verdict in the conditional jockeys' handicap hurdle.
On Diego Du Charmil, she said: "He is a lovely horse for the De la Heys. I won on Polisky a few years back for them and it will be great to get the colours back on and see what we manage."
Ride of the day:
After winning aboard Broken Quest for David Dennis in the two-mile-five handicap hurdle, Sam Twiston-Davies completed a double with a power-packed ride to get Bigbadjohn up on his stable debut for his dad Nigel in the three-mile handicap chase.
Quote of the day:
Nicky Henderson on the talented, yet fragile, Ok Corral: "He was backwards, like me, but he gets better with age - like me!"
Performance of the day:
Oliver Sherwood looks to have a useful recruit in Sevarano, who barely came out of second gear to make a winning debut in the second division of the bumper.
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