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."
4 December 2013Butler considers ban response
Court team eyeing Huntingdon return
Oscar on course for Cheltenham
Cantlow in Cheltenham frame
Juddmonte "not for sale"
Butler handed five-year ban
Noseda content with Grand journey
Cloud future hinges on Mile outcome
Road charts route towards Becher
Rain key to Azorian Navan bid
Greatrex ponders Baby gameplan
Pipe tinkers with Crus schedule
Fahy eyes Morning glory in Topaz
Knight backs Somersby to shine
Verse goes for a song at Tatts
King brings up personal milestone
King issues bleak Invictus update
Tatenen chasing December gold
Rocky revved up for Lexus
Sir and Star set for Durkan date
Sandown heat attracts novice stars
Bolster aiming for confidence boost
Hill faces Becher test
3 December 2013British pair head Power weights
Sea sidesteps Exeter date
Madison Du Berlais dies of colic
Huxley retired from the saddle
Lynam hoping for winning Power
Mullins maps Sceaux plan
Wrist injury sidelines Dalton
Bob on World trail
Sacre a doubt for Tingle Creek
Europe sets sail for Leopardstown
Mullins banks on Hurricane progress
Stellar turnout for Lexus
Wishfull heads Sefton contenders
Junior at Becher summit
Fenton big-hitters near return
Tank team consider options
2 December 2013Ferguson swoops for Dancing Rain
Briar camp look to the Future
Super Sprinter set for Sandown
Super puzzle for McCain
Topper to take Sandown test
The Fugue "one to beat" in HK
Persad takes charity challenge
Seek claims Hollywood glory
Jezki strikes in Hatton's Grace
Don delivers in Drinmore
Tank takes Bond thriller
Analifet stakes Triumph claim
Culloty expects Lord progress
Curtis keeps faith in Fishers
Apache set for Navan test
Lexus aim for Lieutenant
King maps out Sandown plan
1 December 2013Hughes just super in Japan
Commander bows out at Newbury
Spender lands second Rehearsal
Triolo floors Rocky in Hennessy
Halo shines in Long Distance
Terrific Tent comes out fighting
Williams strikes with Ballyalton
Green Flag raises game
Don deal for As I Am
Meade hoping for Wood win