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.
24 October 2014Ballyalton out for the season
McCoy makes Chepstow return
Hutchinson sits out weekend action
Botti seeking Astrelle Celebration
Balding sweet on Park chance
Walker hoping for Glorious victory
Times out to make Newbury headlines
Cheltenham honour leading figures
Moore keen on Adelaide chance
Stevens back for Breeders'
Johnson Houghton fined
Duke lords it at Carlisle
Southwell first for O'Brien
Fenton fined over steroids
Buywise on the money at Ludlow
Lockinge the big plan for Toormore
Stone ruled out of Old Roan
Wetherby likely for First run
Elm tops Trophy octet
23 October 2014Fenton guilty of drugs possession
Williams hoping for Max power
Harty biding his time with Lane
Clonmel aim for Baily
Jezki possible for Morgiana bow
Harrington expects Naylor to shine
Gosden a Fan of Newmarket scorer
Northern aces face off in Cumbria
Murphy plagued by shoulder injury
Dynaste charts direct Haydock route
O'Brien outlines Breeders' plans
Wetherby-bound Taquin to duck Power
High hopes for Adelaide run
Gilgamboa waits on ground
Dandino misses Cup date
22 October 2014December date for Balding memorial
Deputy outgunned at Fontwell
Whisky chasing Power spoils
Burke maps out Odeliz targets
Present sights set on Power prize
New category for all-weather champs
Moviesta has sales date
National aim for O'Neill star
Cheltenham on Ginge agenda
Lewis eyeing Dubai success
Henderson handed Ascot role
Panther given Breeders' go-ahead
Plain sailing for perfect Storm
Big Easy sets sail for Open fixture
Hall monitored for Giant Bolster
Stomachion in November frame
Hughes revels in 'sweet' success
BHA moves to address small fields
Connell turns to Heskin
Integral to race on next year
21 October 2014Storm breezes to Exeter victory
Moore concedes title to Hughes
Meade maps out gameplan for stars
Pele poised to tackle Hennessy
O'Neill sure of Taquin redemption
Heron seeking Great prize
Court to go on Trial
Saviour blow for Skelton
Dan makes chase debut
Moore waits on Grugy decision
O'Neill outlines That choices
Conn possible for Auction bid
Power team weigh up options
Bangor cancel schooling card
No rushing back for Long Run
Dynaste leads Old Roan contenders
Grands Crus retired
Exciting Berlais heads to Chepstow
Force handed Hong Kong mission
Park favourite for Trophy hunt
Al Kazeem team eye Hong Kong trip
Commemorative bound for Breeders'
Slade eyeing victorious swansong