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."
24 January 2017Bishops Road booked for Grand National Trial defence
National hero Many Clouds primed for Thistlecrack clash
American ace Arrogate named best in the world
Vroum Vroum Mag handed Doncaster engagement
Ar Mad bypasses rearranged Clarence House to wait for Ascot Chase
Min the headline act in Arkle at Leopardstown
Faugheen stars in six for Irish Champion Hurdle
Dewhurst victory the key as Churchill secures champion two-year-old honours
Leicester gets the green light following third inspection
Barry Geraghty thrilled by Jezki reappearance win
Kimberlite Candy team consider weekend options
Wetherby gets the go-ahead following second inspection
California Chrome team confident he can overcome wide Pegasus draw
Churchill crowned leading juvenile performer of 2016
Faugheen and Annie Power clash not ruled out by Willie Mullins
Frost forces another Wetherby check
Leicester call third inspection
Paul Nicholls ponders Politologue plans
Top Gamble back in Clarence House Chase frame at Cheltenham
More Of That given Cheltenham cross-country chase option by Jonjo O'Neill
Harry Fry gives white-hot Unowhatimeanharry Cleeve Hurdle entry
Nicky Richards set to launch dual Doncaster raid in Sky Bet Chase
Kerry Lee considers Thistlecrack Cheltenham clash with Kylemore Lough
Ladbrokes replaces Hennessy as sponsor of Gold Cup at Newbury
Gordon Elliott hoping for Leopardstown rain ahead of Don Poli Gold run
23 January 2017Catchamat lays down Newcastle marker for the Waltons
Briery Queen on course for Cheltenham Festival date
Nicky Henderson rules out Clarence House option for Altior
Leicester call early check due to frost threat
Gallant Gray Wolf River set more realistic targets for next outing
Evan Williams thinking of Aintree for Evening Hush
Ice Cold Soul bags big handicap hurdle prize at Leopardstown
A Toi Phil the latest to benefit from magic touch of Jack Kennedy
Faugheen on course to return for Irish Champion Hurdle defence
Yorkhill still unbeaten over fences after Leopardstown win
All options open for Harry Fry's Haydock hero Neon Wolf
Smart Flat mare Toe The Line off the mark over hurdles
No rush for Jessica Harrington to map out Jezki target
22 January 2017King George VI Chase move would need BHA approval, says Nick Rust
Alary's Haydock disappointment mystifying Tizzard team
Airlie Beach on course for Cheltenham Festival assignment
David Pipe planning one more run with National-bound Vieux Lion Rouge
Warren Greatrex maps out Towton target for Missed Approach
Frozen track claims Fontwell card
Bristol De Mai's day as Alary falters in Peter Marsh at Haydock
Nigel Twiston-Davies salutes The New One after Haydock triumph
Un De Sceaux to run at Cheltenham for rearranged Clarence House Chase
Neon Wolf cuts loose at Haydock to claim Supreme trial
Waiting Patiently pounces at Haydock for Malcolm Jefferson
Deepsand a shore thing at Haydock for Alexander Thorne
Classy Jezki back in business at Navan
Yorkhill faces examination of chasing credentials at Leopardstown
Heartbreak City bids to transfer top Flat form to valuable jumps prize
21 January 2017Pinzolo too sharp for Lingfield rivals
Hereford forced to abandon Sunday card
Hereford inspection brought forward
Clarence House Chase switched to Cheltenham
Sunday check for Hereford card
Fontwell team call inspection ahead of Sunday meeting
Frozen Taunton loses Saturday fixture
Dual Group One winner The Grey Gatsby joins Dermot Weld
Ascot card called off following early-morning inspection
River flows deep for Tim Vaughan at Chepstow
Project Bluebook earns Cheltenham quotes with Musselburgh success
Colin Tizzard earmarks Cleeve Hurdle charge with West Approach
Injury setback for Andrew Thornton but 'this is 100 per cent not the end'
Peter Bowen ponders hurdling return for Henri Parry Morgan
Alan King puts 'progressive' Elgin on trial at Haydock
Dashing grey Politologue takes next step up the ladder at Haydock
The New One primed for Champion Hurdle Trial hat-trick bid
Colin Tizzard wary of Alary's weighty task in Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock