Buck Mulligan took advantage of a drop in class to take the feature Jardine Catering Handicap Chase at Sedgefield.
The seven-year-old, not disgraced in better company at Market Rasen and Cheltenham on his last two starts, had been dropped 5lb by the handicapper and punters took the hint as they sent Evan Williams' charge off the 11-4 favourite.
He had to dig deep to see off the strong challenge of No Planning by a neck, with Rich Lord breathing down their necks in third.
The trainer said: "The handicapper has helped us. This horse has been running very well in some races where we weren't getting much leeway. He dropped him 5lb and that made the difference today. The horse deserved it because he is consistent and he is good in his grade.
"I thought he could win a higher class race, but he needed to get his head in front because he might have started to get a bit demoralised, so credit to the handicapper."
Ryan Mania, second on No Planning, still had a good day with a 545-1 double courtesy of Grate Fella and Strobe. He struck first on Grate Fella (25-1), who overturned evens favourite Blackwater King in the British Stallion Studs Supporting British Racing EBF 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle.
Sue Smith's four-year-old got the better of a prolonged duel to score by a length and a half.
Strobe (20-1) was always up with the pace as Mania enjoyed a 17-length romp on Lucy Normile's eight-year-old over On Gossamer Wings in the Collins Seafoods Ltd Handicap Chase.
Keen Sedgefield supporter John Wade, local businessman and owner/trainer, enjoyed a birthday winner when his colours were carried to victory by the Chris Grant-trained Alpha One in the Freebetting.co.uk Handicap Chase. Brian Hughes got a good tune out of the 9-4 joint-favourite to score by seven lengths.
Grant said: "It probably wasn't the greatest race in the world, but you can do no more than win. He's run well there before but it's the first time he's won there. I haven't looked any further than today. Now he's won at Sedgefield I wouldn't mind going there again if there's a race to suit."
13 May 2013Fabre confirms Ocovango for Epsom
Aspect on route to big things
Room at the top for Cityscape
Freedom steps into chasing ranks
Lucky thirteen in line for Lockinge
Galway beckons for Swinton hero
Sajjhaa set for late return
Cadeaux thriving in Singapore
Pink primed for Duke Of York
Liber takes aim at Musidora
Battle won for O'Brien
Pretending the real deal
Duntle back to winning ways
Classic glory for Flotilla
Style wins the day in Paris
Highclere double-handed for Dante
Cornerstone plans up in the air
Beckett planning Gesture workout
12 May 2013No hurry for Jammy plans
Guest in hunt for more Ascot glory
Vow set for Goodwood return
Gold-en boy Anodin in Classic hunt
Buick aiming for French strike
Angel flies home to land Chartwell
Barizan bounces back in style
Queally lights up Ascot meeting
Ektihaam storms to Buckhounds win
Nevis takes depleted Trial contest
Hard-fought battle won at Haydock
Secret impresses in Oaks Trial
Ascot drama for Fanning
11 May 2013Felix foot-perfect on fencing debut
Cavalryman leads Cup charge
Ramsa ready to stand Trial
Duntle out to dazzle in Amethyst
Swift return doesn't bother Moran
Garman gives Bolger hope
Henderson: Ground vital for Voice
McMahon sweet on Tart Ascot claims
Murphy to move to France
Athos flies to Ormonde glory
Dee day for impressive Magician
Kingdom confirmed for Queen Anne
Secret's out for Lingfield glory
Lambe expects good run from Hall
Marengo ready to do battle
Greatwood on trial at Lingfield
Barizan sneaks into Swinton
Jamesie gunning for Vic-tory
10 May 2013Telescope focus is on Dante
Blinkers considered for Guarantee#
Bonfire camp bemoan Huxley flop
Moohaajim has six appeal
Ascot welcomes a couple of Guests