David Pipe's dour stayer Master Overseer got back on the winning trail with another fine front-running performance in an attritional Carolyn Brown Celebration Veterans' Handicap Chase at Wincanton.
In his last five starts the 10-year-old has landed the Midlands National at Uttoxeter and a valuable staying handicap at Cheltenham, but been pulled up on the other three occasions.
Despite taking a significant drop in class having failed to get his own way out in front in the Welsh National last time, it was no surprise to see Master Overseer allowed to go off at 10-1 given his inconsistent profile, but it was clear from an early stage he was in the mood for a battle.
Fencing fluently in the hands of Conor O'Farrell under a welter-burden of 11st 11lb, Pipe's charge had seen off all bar the in-form Desperate Dex rounding the home turn and the pair settled down to fight it out. Despite being in receipt of the best part of two-stone, the 13-year-old Desperate Dex was never able to get on terms with Master Overseer, who kept galloping to take the valuable prize of just over £12,000 by one and a half lengths
Mon Mome, another teenager who has not won a race since running out a 100-1 winner of the 2009 Grand National, ran his best race in a while to grab third spot.
Pipe said of the winner: "He's rated 142, he's a very good horse. He's very slow, but honest, and when he gets in a rhythm he's a hard horse to pass. We were hoping he was going to bounce back after a poor run in the Welsh National. As ever they went very quick in that race, he got headed and maybe thought he'd done enough.
"I'm sure he'll have an entry in the Midlands National. It's just great to get him back on the winning trail."
The Carling Johny Whitcombe Fan Club Novices' Chase turned out to be a hugely eventful race, with Brendan Powell's 14-1 shot Milans Well running out a fortuitous winner.
Tenor Nivernais unseated his jockey three out, leaving Valoroso and hot favourite Ambion Wood to seemingly fight out the finish, but the complexion of the race changed dramatically in the straight. Valoroso had mastered Ambion Wood from the second last, but crumpled on landing when well clear jumping the final fence under Daryl Jacob. Ambion Wood clambered over the last with the lead, but was clearly a very tired horse, and the once tailed off Milans Well came through to claim an unlikely victory.
Jacob's luck changed in the following Grolsch Handicap Chase as the Nick Williams-trained Politeo (11-2) ran out a comfortable eight-length winner and there was a thrilling finish to the Elite Racing Club Novices' Limited Handicap Chase, with Jacob and favourite Bury Parade losing out by a nose to 4-1 shot Saved By John under Richard Johnson.
20 October 2014Pipe mulls Moon target
High hopes for Holywell
Judge in Breeders' frame
Hill stars for Stoute and Moore
Gabriel lifts Garnet for Deegan
New One back with a win
Light career hangs in balance
Stars shines on hurdling debut
King big guns ready to start
Tullius camp consider options
Doyle unlikely to appeal Ascot ban
Mullins prepares formidable team
19 October 2014New One breezes to victory
Lavelle has Becher plan for Lodge
Riches heading on road north
Down Royal plan for Tiger
New makes Kempton return
Panther hunting Canadian prize
Sun takes a shine to Cork
Hobbs upholds Showcase record
Another gold strike for Bronze
Gallant Noble a true Champion
Head turns on Charm in QEII
Madame is Ascot leading lady
Forgotten rules for Weld
Byron is poetry in motion
18 October 2014Forgotten rules for Weld
War misses Breeders' date
Rakti reaps Caulfield reward
Chatez bids for Balmoral crown
Lavelle duo top Cheltenham card
Integral takes on the boys
Noble on Champion mission
Belardo a Dewhurst sparkler
Together stands firm for Ballydoyle
Ivawood felled by plucky Thought
Crowley doubles up on Berkshire
Tendon injury sidelines Tent
17 October 2014Minstrel calls the tune
Sceaux set for chase campaign
Sari seeking Ascot gold
Charm out to show winning Spirit
Estimate aiming to go the Distance
French veteran back for more
O'Meara - G has the Force
Fallon considers American switch
Cossack maintains Elliott's record
Vautour goes chasing
Lucida heads Godolphin trio
McCoy sits out weekend action
No Middle ground for classy Ivawood
Big guns hold sway for QEII
Cirrus stands firm for Champion
Hanagan: Estidhkaar no soft touch