Sent off at 5-2, Jim Goldie’s charge was given a fine ride by Bewley to catch the favourite Silver Concorde in the Totepool Hogmaneigh Handicap Hurdle by a length and a quarter.
Bewley said: “I hadn’t ridden him in a race prior to today but I have schooled him a few times. His two previous wins over hurdles came here so the track was never a worry.
“I knew he only has one run so I really only went for him after the last. It’s certainly a very nice way to start the new year.”
After 2017 yielded 105 winners, a record in a calendar year for a Scottish trainer, Keith Dalgleish opened his account for 2018 at the very first attempt when Uptown Funk upset odds-on favourite Je Suis Charlie in the juvenile hurdle to give Bewley his first win of the afternoon.
Je Suis Charlie’s jockey Brian Hughes enjoyed better luck in the totequadpot “Auld Reekie” Handicap Chase on Knockgraffon, a first course success with his first course runner for rookie Warwickshire trainer Olly Murphy.
Meanwhile, Yanworth provided Alan King with another landmark achievement at Cheltenham when he became the trainer’s 1,500th winner of his career. Despite having failed to impress with his jumping on his last two starts, the JP McManus-owned eight-year-old brought his A-game to the table in the BetBright Dipper Novices’ Chase.
Yanworth idled halfway up the run-in, but the dual Grade One-winning hurdler pulled out just enough to repel Sizing Tennessee by a neck.
King said of the 15-8 favourite: “His jumping was good. It looked like he was going to win well, but he pricked his ears up the run-in and I thought, ‘God, he is going to throw this away’.
“I think he will have entries in both of those (RSA and JLT) but he wants another run.
“I would imagine we will look at something like the Reynoldstown (Ascot) and there is the Scilly Isles (Sandown). If we are taking the three-mile route then it will probably be Ascot.”
On his 1,500th winner, the Barbury Castle handler said: “I’d been counting at home but hadn’t told anyone.
“Katchit was very special, then there was My Way De Solzen, and Voy Por Ustedes.
“My Royal Ascot winner (Primitivo) was something I will never forget. I’ve had some lovely Grade Ones and this boy has done his bit, as well.”
Having finished behind Colin’s Sister on his last two starts, Wholestone (9-4 joint-favourite) finally exacted his revenge to complete a double for Nigel Twiston-Davies in the Grade Two Relkeel Hurdle.
Stablemate Ballyhill atoned for a last-time-out fall at Aintree to open his account over fences when he denied Shantou Flyer back-to-back wins in the BetBright Best For The Festival Betting Handicap Chase by a length and three-quarters.