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."
18 December 2013Rain would help Green - Moore
Henderson looks to Ascot for Triolo
Grugy set to wait for Ascot
Hill hits heights at Newbury
Big Buck's set for Exeter away day
Nolan hoping rain comes for Logic
Double booked for Cheltenham return
Jockeys backing diet research
Baily ready to tackle Europe again
Prince set for Wetherby return
Pipe excited by novice team
Challow option for The Liquidator
Bobs set for pre-Lexus workout
Scu hoping for Grands revival
Biscotti takes the biscuit
Duty and Approach in Newbury return
Walsh: Conor has it to prove
Walsh hoping for a Champagne moment
Park plan for Sizing Gold
Sprinter confirmed for Orchid
Europe in 'mad form' for Dial-A-Bet
McCoy in no hurry to slow down
17 December 2013Billy in last chance saloon
Paget has Haydock alternative
Plans uncertain for Russell duo
Thunder could hit Cheltenham
Byrnes considers Arnaud options
Meyrick plan for Tribulation
Tizzard undeterred by stable bug
Jefferson at a loss with Attaglance
Double sees McCoy hit landmark
Unioniste still in Lexus picture
Solwhit set for Leopardstown
Leading fancy Jack skips Ladbroke
Ruby off to winning start
Buck's booked for Exeter gallop
Conor set for racecourse spin
16 December 2013Tizzard ready to play his ace Card
Halo and Cross poised for rematch
Downie keeping feet on the Ground
Irving camp consider options
O'Shea gets Darley job
Third place for McCoy in BBC award
Tennessee makes winning start
Flemenstar scan is delayed
Channon snaps up Twiston-Davies
Scu impressed by Sherlock
Rendezvous team find problem
Briar best in Navan match
Ruby starts fencing career
Cantlow set to step up
15 December 2013Karinga sticking to novice trail
Tea going straight to Chepstow
One camp fear Fly in Champion
Cross primed for Ascot assignment
Moore strikes Group One gold
Apache misses Navan date
Karinga dances to victory
Landmark success for O'Neill
Only One matters in International
Double delight for Twiston-Davies
Ton up for record-breaker Mullins
Fox first as Hussar flops
Palace in sparkling show
Sam a winner for Nicholls
Bally bags juvenile honours