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.
25 March 2017'I can't believe he won' - Bob Baffert in awe of World Cup hero Arrogate
Snow Leopardess pounces at Newbury
Great Field looks set for great things after Thurles demolition
Brilliant Arrogate rules the World in Dubai
Jack Hobbs oozes class in Sheema stroll
Death of three-time Long Walk hero Reve De Sivola at Kelso
Moreira advertises skills in saddle as Vivlos claims Turf
Biscuits swoops for sweet success in Golden Shaheen
Right result for French ace in Al Quoz as Limato struggles
Snow digs deep for UAE Derby glory
Vazirabad does it again in Dubai Gold Cup
Late Summer charge is enough to land Godolphin Mile spoils
Fozzy Stack hoping for Dream start to training career in Irish Lincolnshire
Somehow bids for Express success on seasonal bow at Naas
Bullish Tom Symonds fancies Don Bersy to maintain hot streak at Newbury
Nicky Henderson has Punchestown in mind for Brain Power
Amateur rider James Ridley banned for 28 days in Newbury drama
Daryl Jacob hoping Gordon Elliott can work Natonal magic with Ucello Conti
Oliver Sherwood has Hitherjacques Lady ready to roll for Newbury test
Hugo Palmer targets Mile high with Gifted Master
Jim Crowley bowled over by Al Quoz Sprint hope Ertijaal
Heartbreak City chasing Dubai Gold for Tony Martin
Roger Charlton has Decorated Knight ready for Meydan Turf war
Roger Varian optimistic as Postponed challenges for Sheema Classic double
24 March 2017Double delight for Nicky Henderson at Newbury
Dermot McLoughlin forced to rule Vics Canvas out of Grand National
Bob Baffert wants to rule the World with awesome Arrogate
Charlie Appleby maps out Classic gameplan with exciting filly Wuheida
Coneygree going great guns for Sizing John showdown at Punchestown
Sam Twiston-Davies sides with Saphir Du Rheu in Grand National at Aintree
Jean-Claude Rouget stars Almanzor and La Cressonniere set for big 2017
Cheltenham ace Yorkhill heads Ryanair entries at Fairyhouse
Supreme ruler Labaik in great heart with Fairyhouse and Punchestown on the radar
'Slow process' as Toast Of New York continues to be assessed for racing return
Hopes high Derek Fox will return from injury to ride One For Arthur in National
Mags Mullins in no hurry to map out Debuchet plans
Enda Bolger hoping Aintree fences will fire up On The Fringe
23 March 2017Nigel Hawke continues hot streak at Ludlow
Sweet success for Bonbon at Cork
Let's Dance figures in Fairyhouse list
Cheltenham hero Presenting Percy in frame for Grade One honours at Punchestown
Karl Burke keen on Temple Stakes return for Quiet Reflection
Red-hot Richard Johnson secures Warwick four-timer
Warren Greatrex has Punchestown plan for Haydock winner The Nipper
Ruth Carr issues Kempton poser to new recruit Sovereign Debt
Aintree 'the target' for injured Barry Geraghty
Willie Mullins has strong hand in Topham Chase at Aintree
Kim Bailey happy to play it cool with Charbel after Cheltenham woe
Andrew Slattery looking to new recruit Dinkum Diamond to sparkle at Naas
22 March 2017BHA planning to toughen up licensing procedures for new jockeys
Tully East likely to head to Punchestown following Festival triumph
David Pipe looking to National duo to shine on Aintree stage
Dai Walters hoping to mount Mildmay challenge with Whisper
Arrogate drawn in stall nine for Dubai World Cup assignment
Sandra Hughes hoping Acapella can make Punchestown amends
Vieux Lion Rouge leads Pipe's National assault
Clan Des Obeaux back in the groove at Exeter for Paul Nicholls
Robin Dickin gives Thomas Crapper Topham entry at Aintree
More Of That replaces Minella Rocco as Jonjo O'Neill's Grand National hope
Creggs Pipes blowing hot as Naas stages Flat curtain-raiser
Joseph O'Brien says Edwulf is 'absolutely perfect' and on the way home
Nico de Boinville says Might Bite has the appetite to show 'immense potential'
Fairyhouse-bound Foxrock set to swerve Grand National at Aintree
All roads lead to Aintree for Paul Nicholls' Saphir Du Rheu