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.
29 March 2015O'Brien big guns enjoy away day
Hannon aims high with Windshear
McCoy thrills on Ascot farewell
Huge shock in Park Express
Moore to step up Ballydoyle rides
Hero makes his mark for O'Meara
Jacob ripe for Pineau ride
Varian suffers Kingston 'blow'
Kristale limbers up for York return
Aintree on God's radar
Ferof in hunt for Aintree riches
Telescope back in focus
Clouds given National clearance
Chrome given Royal summons
Flemenstar unplaced on return
Dolniya excels in Sheema Classic
Solow gallops to Turf glory
Gabrial just divine in Lincoln
Naadirr strikes to take Trophy
Sole switches on late power
Tullius has to pull out the stops
Romsdal up and running
Panther pounces for Gold
28 March 2015Prince Bishop rules the World
Prince Bishop rules the World
Raven swoops for De Sousa
Hanagan strikes first blow
Stack harbours Lincoln doubts
Odeliz gears up for Park
Mshawish given green light for Turf
Margarson keeps faith in Guest
Havlin has high hopes with Hopkins
Togo lands another for Pakidis
Longsdon and Fehily rule with Law
Coleman picks up ride on Druids
Power out to end Meydan hoodoo
Jack firmly in Trophy hunt
McCoy honoured with Celebration
O'Brien set on Flat resumption
'Rock star' Chrome seeks World fame
27 March 2015Romsdal returns at Kempton
Solow flying high for Head
All to play for at Doncaster
Flemenstar makes Navan return
Panther primed for big Gold run
Derby Fever for Godolphin
Toast recovering from setback
Motion out to keep winning Sequence
Home comforts at Newbury
Curtis keen on Townend for Tea
Flintham upholds family honour
Newmarket moves to avoid split
Weld sweet on 'middleweight' Zawraq
Eagle poised for Curragh return
Signal to swerve Wetherby gallop
Ballydoyle brigade excites Hensey
Angel leads the way in Lincoln
26 March 2015Sruthan gets Gladness go-ahead
Kelly to contest Wolves ban
Gatsby thrills in Meydan spin
Monaghan on the up
On-song Cappella has Classic aim
Godsmejudge on track for Aintree
Ground key to Found Guineas attempt
Thriving Berkshire Ganay-bound
Gleneagles set for Curragh spin
Ginge handed Topham option
Side sights set on World place
Tizzard 'really pleased' with Card
Limato pencilled in for Ascot
Spinal issue sidelines The New One