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."
26 October 2016Faydhan 'ready to run' on belated return at Lingfield
Freddy Tylicki sees no Eden hazard for Lingfield-bound Tango
Muffri'Ha blossoming for Fleur De Lys at Lingfield
Willie Mullins set to unleash Bachasson over fences
Un De Sceaux could make French connection for Willie Mullins
Thistlecrack hardens as Gold Cup favourite following thrilling Chepstow return
Value At Risk comes good over fences at Bangor
All roads lead back to Aintree for Vics Canvas
Saphir Du Rheu set to take hurdles option at Wetherby
Dual Group One winner Twilight Son retired to Cheveley Park Stud
Silviniaco Conti enjoys Chepstow gallop ahead of Down Royal return
Seeyouatmidnight all set for Carlisle comeback
Simon Crisford has Breeders' Cup ambitions for Rodaini
Mark Johnston could seek Far East enlightment with Lumiere
25 October 2016Thistlecrack oozes class on chasing debut at Chepstow
Charlie Longsdon derailed by injuries to big names
Ben Pauling has Grand National designs for Becher-bound Silvergrove
Sylvester Kirk backs Salouen to go the distance next season
James Nash plots Aintree return with 'amazing' Your Busy
Aidan O'Brien expects Minding to stay in training
Silviniaco Conti booked for Chepstow workout before racing
Tea For Two in mix for Sodexo Gold Cup
Double Shuffle in BetVictor frame for Tom George
Churchill form boost pleases Aidan O'Brien
Weather frustration set to continue for Ben Pauling and Barters Hill
Neil Mulholland to consider Haldon Gold Cup option for Fox Norton
Coneygree given Charlie Hall Wetherby entry 'just in case'
Colin Tizzard has Thistlecrack sharp and ready for Chepstow chasing bow
Time called on career of dual Derby hero Harzand
24 October 2016Tawdeea to take aim at Doncaster after Leicester strike
Coologue considered for Hennessy Gold Cup by Charlie Longsdon
Forgotten Rules team cool on hurdling career
Henry Candy has sole focus on Breeders' Cup Mile with Limato
Meydan a 'potential' destination for Gordon Elliott and Commissioned
Noel Meade rules Apache Stronghold out for the season
Ben Pauling to duck Bangor mission with Barters Hill
Third Intention books Hennessy ticket with Old Roan victory
Found set to be given Breeders' Cup Classic entry
Vazirabad repeats Prix Royal-Oak success
Titus rules in Leopardstown clash
Making Light betters colts in Killavullan Stakes
Flying Fairies floors Zawraq at Leopardstown
No Charlie Hall run for Gold Cup hero Coneygree
Native River in frame for Wetherby reappearance
William Haggas keeps Rivet's Guineas options open
23 October 2016Third Intention claims Old Roan Chase at Aintree
Titus rules in Leopardstown clash
Smooth success for White Satin Dancer at Leopardstown
Luke Morris breaks collar bone in Chelmsford fall
David Menuisier looks to France with Make Time
Jonjo O'Neill in no rush with Festival hero Minella Rocco
Eve Johnson Houghton raises hurdles possibility for What About Carlo
Fox Norton and Shantou Village provide Neil Mulholland with Cheltenham double
Rivet nails Yucatan as Andrea Atzeni strikes again at Doncaster
Identity Thief hacks up on chasing bow at Punchestown
Sceau so good at Cheltenham
Soie D'Leau strikes for Stubbs on Town Moor
Graham Lee times it right as Duretto pounces at Newbury
Rob Hornby blossoms on Doncaster scorer Rosie Briar
Feisty Coologue back on the straight and narrow at Cheltenham
Pleaseletmewin surges to Newbury glory for Ralph Beckett