Kim Bailey's fine run of form continued as Harry Topper came from the clouds to land a strong renewal of the Grade Two GPG Novices' Chase at Newbury.
Having impressed on his fencing bow at Exeter, Harry Topper was a 3-1 shot faced with five talented opponents who had all won their most recent starts.
Irish raider Benefficient disputed the lead with Highland Lodge throughout and looked the likely winner when seeing off that rival between the final two fences. At that stage Harry Topper still had upwards of 10 lengths to make up on the leader, but he fairly rattled home on the run-in under Timmy Murphy to score by a length and a half.
Bailey, who is normally quite restrained in his post-race assessments, said: "He won't see a racecourse very often, as Timmy said I've got to look after him as he is desperately weak.
"He'll run one or two more times this season, because he is very, very good. I've always held a very high opinion of him and he's the best horse I've had since Master Oats. He wants flat, galloping tracks at the moment, and in 18 months' time I'd hope you will see him at Cheltenham. He is the horse of my dreams."
Sizing Santiago claimed an eventful Sportingbet Handicap Chase for Peter Bowen and Jamie Moore.
Sent off at 9-1 following a good run in defeat at Cheltenham's Open meeting a fortnight ago, Sizing Santiago was never too far off the pace in the extended two-mile-six-furlong contest and moved into the lead on the run to the third-last. The challengers were queuing up to have a crack at him all the way up the straight but Sizing Santiago held on grimly to score by a length from Our Bomber Harris.
The horse to take from the race was undoubtedly Rigadin De Beauchene, whose conditional jockey Robert Dunne performed miracles to stay in the saddle following a horrendous mistake four fences from home. Just when it looked as though his chance had gone, he rallied to grab third spot and was probably unlucky not to win.
Dunne said: "It helped that he kept straight, so I was able to hang on. Coming to the second-last, I still thought I was going to win but he is not a nimble horse and that put an end to it."
Bowen said of the winner: "I got him at the May sales, and I wanted him because he is a half-brother to Take The Stand. He's only a six-year-old and is actually better than Take The Stand was at his age. We'll see what the handicapper does now."
25 August 2014Void race drama at Epsom
Haydock on Extortionist radar
Palmer eyes Solario for Aktabantay
Kenny receives upbeat prognosis
Murphy aims high with dynamic duo
Euphrasia camp assess options
No rush on Thunder return
Pankhurst makes a stand in Solario
Toast team proud in defeat
Light passes Trial test
Glen shows Curragh sparkle
Ansgar strikes in Goodwood raid
Ribbons cuts down Romanet field
Frankie has Wow factor
Intrinsic returns dirty scope
No hurry for Cookie target
Doncaster date for Seal
Gatsby set for Australia rematch
24 August 2014Weld preparing Champions team
Hanagan admits Tag disappointment
Spencer 'might' return one day
Ribbons back for Group One test
Ascot aces collide in Morny
Ainippe in Cheveley Park reckoning
Kazeem in Winter wonderland
Murtagh magic rubs off on Steward
Celebration time for Johnston
Muhaarar pounces in Gimcrack
Gallant Doyle in Melrose drama
Malabar books ticket to big time
Custom made to measure
23 August 2014Light leading Trial field
Jamesie on top in thriller
Convergence takes Futurity test
Niven boxing Clever in Ebor
Shea Shea bows out
Enterprise likely for Eagle
Atzeni new Qatar number one
Hughes flicks Power switch
Ab fab in Listed contest
Mimosa clinches Cup glory
Glenard comes good at York
Fiddes living dream in Gimcrack
Kazeem in Winter wonderland
Cat camp wary of 'bounce'
22 August 2014Telescope going international
Byron well versed for Renaissance
Punters' Pall ready for Ebor
Great War out of Gimcrack
Reserves denied Ebor run
Applause sent to the Tower
McCoy records fastest century
Tapestry weaves Taghrooda downfall
Spencer to hang up riding boots
Mukhadram 'sore' after York
Slade 'unlikely' to run at Haydock
Tiggy takes Lowther by storm
Haggas strikes again at York
Signs good for big Estimate run
Power chases Nunthorpe double
Yar makes Ebor cut