Theatrical Star defied top weight in gutsy fashion to take the plaudits in the Axio Special Works Handicap Chase at Fontwell.
Hard as Global Power tried to get on terms in the closing stages, the Colin Tizzard-trained gelding would not give way.
Fruity O’Rooney set the pace until Brendan Powell decided to press for the lead six fences from the finish and the 5-4 favourite maintained the gallop to score by a neck.
Connections might consider a crack at the Crabbie’s Grand National if the eight-year-old can get higher up the ratings.
Tizzard’s son and assistant, Joe, said: “He’d come on for his run over hurdles at Cheltenham and did it nicely. We’ll see what the handicapper does to him and then pick a race for him. We’ve got the Grand National in the back of our minds, but he’d probably need to win again and go up (in the ratings) again. There’s no definite plan for him. He had a hard enough race, so he probably won’t run again until sometime in the new year.”
The Diana Grissell-trained Sitting Back (16-1) ran his rivals into the ground when making all of the running to capture the 32RedPoker.com Handicap Chase. Liam Treadwell’s partner put in a solid round of jumping to score by eight lengths from Bob Will. Head Spin, the 4-5 favourite, was six lengths away in third.
Bidourey (5-2) showed a good attitude to make a winning debut over jumps in the 32Red On The App Store Juvenile Hurdle.
The French purchase had got off the mark for trainer David Pipe in a Ffos Las bumper a month ago and confirmed that promise with a hard-fought success. He was pushed all the way by Norse Legend and Ryeolliean but kept on all the way to the line for Tom Scudamore to score by a respective length and three-quarters and a neck. “He’s big and a little bit more of a store horse, but he certainly knows where the winning line is,” Scudamore told At The Races. “He was very professional, very neat and a really likeable type.”
Meanwhile, Monbeg Dude remains on target for the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow on 27 December following the latest entry stage.
Winner of the race two seasons ago, he is now 8-1 co-favourite with the sponsors along with Midnight Prayer and Shotgun Paddy, who fought out the finish to the four-mile National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham in March.
Monbeg Dude ran an excellent race in the Hennessy at Newbury last month to finish fourth.
“We were delighted with his run in the Hennessy Gold Cup, finishing fourth on testing ground and on a trip sharp enough for him,” said Scudamore.
“He’s come out of the race in great form and now we will start to build him back up to his best for 27 December.”
Rebeccas Choice won a Welsh National trial at Chepstow on Saturday, with his chances of making the cut having been enhanced after plenty of horses above her in the weights were taken out.
Trainer Dai Burchell said: “Depending if we make the split, Rebeccas Choice will be there to win it and will be spot-on for the day.”
Among those taken out were Sam Winner, Merry King, Houblon Des Obeaux and The Young Master.