Cue Card claimed Grade One honours for the second time in his career after a mistake at the penultimate fence cost Captain Chris any chance in the Betfair Ascot Chase.
Colin Tizzard's Cue Card was reckless himself on occasions, surviving a couple of errors in the course of the extended two miles and five furlongs, but his boundless enthusiasm and the cruising speed which won him a Cheltenham Champion Bumper enabled him to stay in the hunt.
King George runner-up Captain Chris had drawn alongside by the home straight, but lost valuable ground when taking off too early at the second-last fence and the 15-8 favourite was able to finish six lengths clear.
Tizzard's son Joe, Cue Card's jockey, believed he had matters in hand and the pair can head to the Cheltenham Festival full of confidence - where the trainer hinted he would be likely to contest the Ryanair Chase unless red-hot favourite Sprinter Sacre failed to appear in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
"Joe thought he had two or three more gears, maybe that's just him talking," said Colin Tizzard about circumstances at the second-last.
"He's a very good horse. He ran well in the King George (fifth), but I wasn't sure he was quite himself that day, even though I couldn't find anything wrong.
"I expect we'll leave a decision (about Cheltenham) nearer the time. If Sprinter Sacre wasn't in the Queen Mother, that would be very tempting, but if Sprinter Sacre's there on his A-game, I'd imagine we'll go the other way."
Richard Johnson said of Captain Chris: "I think it would have been very close. I don't know what Joe was thinking, but I thought we were going as well as him.
"He can be too brave sometimes, but he has still run well. Hopefully we'll get better ground at Cheltenham and I'd like to ride him in the Gold Cup."
21 October 2014Moore concedes title to Hughes
Connell turns to Heskin
Integral to race on next year
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
20 October 2014Chelmsford City handed 58 fixtures
Alderwood to take two-mile test
Dynaste leads Old Roan contenders
Hennessy aim for Clouds
Fiesolana on Breeders' trail
High-class possibilities for Trophy
Chelmsford City handed 57 fixtures
French option for Maarek
Billy back for chasing bow
Judge to bid for Breeders' glory
Pipe mulls Moon target
High hopes for Holywell
Judge in Breeders' frame
Hill stars for Stoute and Moore
Gabriel lifts Garnet for Deegan
New One back with a win
Light career hangs in balance
Stars shines on hurdling debut
King big guns ready to start
Tullius camp consider options
Doyle unlikely to appeal Ascot ban
Mullins prepares formidable team
19 October 2014New One breezes to victory
Lavelle has Becher plan for Lodge
Riches heading on road north
Down Royal plan for Tiger
New makes Kempton return
Panther hunting Canadian prize
Sun takes a shine to Cork
Hobbs upholds Showcase record
Another gold strike for Bronze
Gallant Noble a true Champion
Head turns on Charm in QEII
Madame is Ascot leading lady
Forgotten rules for Weld
Byron is poetry in motion
18 October 2014Forgotten rules for Weld
War misses Breeders' date
Rakti reaps Caulfield reward
Chatez bids for Balmoral crown
Lavelle duo top Cheltenham card
Integral takes on the boys
Noble on Champion mission
Belardo a Dewhurst sparkler
Together stands firm for Ballydoyle
Ivawood felled by plucky Thought
Crowley doubles up on Berkshire
Tendon injury sidelines Tent