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."
19 April 2014Rebel all set for big Powers test
Fry taking Bold route at Haydock
Snowdrop test for Ribbons
Classic redemption for Grandeur
Hanagan the star man for Fahey
Doyle pounces with classy Cat
Litigant goes Marathon distance
Guineas hope Ertijaal delivers
Life's good for Kirby and McEntee
Moss ready to roll for Brown
Tigers on the prowl for Teal
18 April 2014'Legend' Border just denied
Hanagan the star man for Fahey
Hardie makes history on View
Ready to undergo heart scan
Cantlow tops Irish National weights
Arvika career in balance
Bally stars in Powers quartet
Royal target for classy Cappella
Obliterator future excites Lyons
Chasing plan for As I Am
Killough does it again in Sefton
Toormore claims Craven
Hamza holds on in Abernant
Wonder-ful double for Godolphin
Grugy all set for Sandown defence
Vaughan hoping for Bay of plenty
Muir keen to make a Point in Sprint
Newmarket will suit Canarias - Leon
17 April 2014Maguire on the mend
Basem impresses on Ditton debut
Spirit strikes for Hannon
Ertijaal bids to enhance reputation
George prepares Irish raiding party
Module heading to Punchestown
Doyle seeking Fairyhouse pointers
True class tells at Newmarket
Sandiva strikes for Dettori
Power runs Free at Newmarket
Magnus magic for Hannon
Cantlow on track for Fairyhouse
Kingman well-being delights Gosden
Kiyoshi pleases in Newmarket spin
Judge lays down law in Sefton
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16 April 2014Buywise books big-race targets
Walsh to ride out this weekend
Byron all set for Hong Kong mission
Gosden stays in winning Spirit
'Tentative' Cup entry for Zarkandar
Draw joy for Grandeur
Leather in frame for Jockey Club
Tropics warming to Abernant task
All eyes on Strauss at Newmarket
Ridge out to peak at Newmarket
Eduard camp look to the future
Mohammed outlines Educate plans
Dreaper duo on National service
Scott learns Melodic lesson
Bobs Worth unlikely for Punchestown
Williams - Buy needs to Wise up
Fly on track for more records
Arod team take cautious approach
Obliterator ready to roar for Lyons
Night camp favour French Guineas
Free and easy for 'forward' Medinah
Fahey braced for Sand storm