Coole Cody ran the opposition ragged as he made all the running to win the ultra-competitive Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham.
The Evan Williams-trained nine-year-old kept pulling out more to ward off all-comers and land the prestigious handicap chase in determined fashion.
There was early drama when Siruh Du Lac, who was sharing the lead with Coole Cody and Simply The Betts, unseated Tom Scudamore at the first fence.
That gave Coole Cody the opportunity to open up a 10-length lead as the field set out for the final circuit under Tom O’Brien, who was replacing the injured Adam Wedge.
Despite making the odd mistake, Coole Cody (10-1) maintained his momentum as rivals such as Happy Diva and Saint Sonnet came down.
Spiritofthegames (14-1) tried to put in a late bid but Coole Cody would not be denied and went on to score by three and a quarter lengths. Al Dancer (5-1 favourite) was another length away third, with Kauto Riko (50-1) a staying-on fourth.
Williams said: “They are very hard races to win and we are usually second, third and fourth in all these big races – we have been second, third and fourth in them all! But if you keep trying, you’ll get there in the end.
“Wedgy is out injured and it’s a disappointment for him, but Tom has ridden me loads of winners over the years. We have had some bad luck stories here with Tom in the past, so it’s great he’s got a good one on the board.”