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 April 2015Mahsoob keeps Gosden run going
Sherwood and Aspell strike again
Ground scuppers favourite Oscar
Hatch suffers Ayr misfortune
Mullins - Aintree fallers fine
Victory giving off right signs
Milborough team eye dream result
Harrington fined at Tipperary
Balding happy with Elm spin
Junior continues on upgrade
Newmarket target for Secret
Spring back into action
Gosden has Oaks in mind for Star
Sruthan chasing Curragh repeat
'Relaxed' Tiggy raring to go
17 April 2015Forrit poised to be National hero
Irving leads Champion charge
Belardo bids for Greenham glory
Days seeking further Success
No prep plans for Malabar
McCoy's Ayr mount withdrawn
Benoist in Al Shaqab link
No Cheltenham fairytale for McCoy
Navy sinks Sefton field
Kool result for Hannon
Cape clears away to score
Fleet-footed Astaire takes Abernant
Dutch delight for Hills
Ooty Hill returns at Newbury
Stellar field declared for Greenham
16 April 2015McCoy takes on McManus at Ayr
My neck is in a mess - Condon
News set for Bath raid
Epsom an option for Dolniya
Yarmouth opening held back
Oscar nominated for Ayr raid
Time for Tiggy in Fred Darling
Titania earmarked for Curragh
Don could still pack a Punch
Navy sets sail in Sefton
Protectionist to stay in training
Rock rolls to Heritage success
Brave upsets Faydhan at HQ
McManus buys Ayr favourite Oscar
O'Brien back in the winners
Hawke delights as Turge swoops
Osaila hangs on in Nell Gwyn
Found heads Oaks squad for O'Brien
Mullins big guns set for Festival
Mullins duo on course for battle
15 April 2015Concerto tuned up for Ayr
Faydhan floored at Newmarket
Carnival show at Newmarket
Kristale primed for Lucky strike
Rookie stars in HQ gallop
Hannon duo facing Craven test
Celebrity ruled out of Guineas
Champion trio set for rematch
Treve team consider May return
Upbeat bulletin on King recovery
Galway beckons for Cantlow
Schofield set for British stint
Sgt leads by example at Carlisle
Cirrus raring to go for Ganay
Balding banks on Here Comes When
Encore chasing Newmarket Millions
Fascinating ready to Rock
Elm blossoming for Balding
Zawraq plans remain fluid
Romance stages Gwyn love-in
Faydhan facing Free examination