Lance Bombardier Jody Sole needed a little help from champion trainer Paul Nicholls finally to get his hands on Sandown's Royal Artillery Gold Cup.
Dating back to 1863, the prize is one of the oldest events in the calendar and raises the curtain for a small series of races at the Esher course restricted to amateur riders from the Armed Services.
Nicholls was happy to engage active point-to-point jockey Sole for Gwanako as he had won the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Memorial Hunters' Chase aboard the gelding last season.
Gwanako has found things tough in regulation handicap chases, but Nicholls has collected the race four times previously with similar individuals and the 7-4 favourite was produced late on the scene to draw eight lengths clear of Fine Parchment.
Sole said: "I've been second in it a few times, including last year and the year before. I've won the Grand Military Gold Cup and the Queen Mother Memorial, but being an ex-King's Troop, Royal Artillery man, it means a lot to finally win it. It's different riding a 130-rated chaser, but I'll be back to maiden points on Sunday."
Nicholls' Bold Edition (2-1) was later a facile winner of the CGA Hunters' Chase.
Former Northumberland Plate winner Tominator (9-4) has made a stuttering start to life with Jonjo O'Neill, who kept plans close to his chest after Tony McCoy galvanised the grey past Leviathan in the Reclaims UK Helping Soldiers Novices' Hurdle.
"We've got the novice route and we might put him in some (Cheltenham) handicaps to have a look, but I'm worried he hasn't had enough experience," the trainer said.
Pistol is making steady progress, even if he only just scrambled home ahead of Sash Of Honour in a rematch from a recent Newbury meeting in the London Southend Airport Juvenile Hurdle.
Trainer Philip Hobbs said of his 11-10 favourite: "The obvious race would be the Fred Winter at Cheltenham - he hasn't won by far so you wouldn't think the handicapper will do much to him after that."
25 July 2014Estimate given Goodwood entry
Hughes misses Newmarket rides
Pique Sous out for season
Secret chasing York success
Bill seeking International success
Reason aiming to deliver in Dash
Tag team have a crack at George
Telescope has record in sights
Nicholls pays tribute to Business
Remote on comeback trail
Flintshire misses George date
Hills reveals positive test horse
Kennedy floored on Leopardstown bow
Candy sweet on hot-shot Alonsoa
Big guns in Irish Champion frame
Farraaj sidesteps York return
Classy entries for Champagne
Stars align for Sussex showdown
Kiyoshi dips in grade for Valiant
Gosden waits on Eagle call
Horsted heads International runners
24 July 2014Kennedy floored on Leopardstown bow
BHA confirms seventh morphine case
Duo added to Irish Leger
Carroll 'surprise' at morphine link
Two more trainers in morphine case
Top field seek George glory
Midgley delivers Silva service
Trainer caught up in morphine case
Lyons takes aim at Tyros double
Sunset shines for Her Majesty
Raydara facing Flash test
Prize boost for Newmarket heats
Field pitch perfect for Ascot raid
Gosden team among Leger entries
Goodwood target for Tropics
23 July 2014Feed company launches investigation
Toast team offer American excuse
Galway on Panama agenda
Panther sidesteps George date
Toast team offer American excuse
Hughes' duo primed for Plate
Cooper hearing concludes
Edison set for Galway glory bid
Ferguson plotting Galway raid
Queen's Estimate tests positive
Moonlight shines at Musselburgh
Taghrooda could go off favourite
Signal pointed at Phoenix
Course specialist in Ascot return
Bary plots Arc route for Spiritjim
Charlton weighs up Kazeem options
Varian seeking York glory
High hopes for Odeliz
22 July 2014Strangeway targets Galway riches
Grade One status for Mares' event
Halford retains Certerach faith
HRI unveil 2015 plans
Buick on Ascot weather watch
Minella to take Plate test
Scudamore banned for course blunder
Toscanini team mull options
Faydhan team in no rush
Fast Kaar given Dewhurst target
Pique Sous confirmed for Galway
Hannon team cool on Nunthorpe bid
Channon excited by Amralah progress
Haggas expects Hanagan to ride Tag