Topofthegame, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Harry Cobden, took the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham.
The giant chestnut just got the better of Santini to win by half a length at 4-1, with favourite Delta Work another one and three-quarter lengths back in third.
Topofthegame, ridden by Harry Cobden, was providing a first winner of this year’s Festival for 10-time champion trainer Paul Nicholls.
Cobden said: “He travelled into the race great. He jumped and galloped up that hill. He’s a beast.”
Nicholls said: “That was awesome. What a fantastic ride from a young man.
“That was absolutely brilliant. He’s a really smart horse. He was a maiden coming into today, but was second in Grade One and Harry probably learnt a good lesson that day. He was unlucky the first day.”
City Island wins Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
City Island, trained by Martin Brassil and ridden by Mark Walsh, wins the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, the opening race on day two of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival.
City Island provided jockey Mark Walsh with his second winner of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, as they scored a two-length success from the well-backed Champ in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.
The 8-1 winner, trained by Martin Brassil, was one of six horses vying for the lead as the field approached the second-last.
By the last, though, the six-year-old was in front and was driven out to stay there in the opening race on day two of the meeting as Walsh added to his Champion Hurdle victory on Tuesday.
An impressed Walsh said: “We still don’t know how good he is because even when he gets to the front he doesn’t do a stroke.”