The Package (5-1) ran out a well backed winner of the Badger Ales Trophy for David Pipe and Timmy Murphy at Wincanton on Saturday.
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The nine year old had finished third in the Listed Handicap Chase in 2009 and fifth in 2010 and made the most of an 8lb lower mark than for that latter start to run out a ready winner.
The field were still tightly grouped setting out on the final circuit of the extended three mile and a furlong contest but the race soon changed complexion completely as the runners dropped out one by one.
There were just five still in with a chance as Murphy kicked his mount on approaching the cross-fence and that soon became four as the pacesetting Golden Chieftain dropped out quickly.
Paul Nicholls' pair, Michel Le Bon and No Loose Change, gave chase to the leader as they left Ballyallia Man trailing in their wake and it was the former who got the closest to the eventual winner.
Ruby Walsh closed to about two lengths at the third last with a similar margin separating the pair at the second last but it appeared that Murphy had saved a little bit for the finish.
He kicked again approaching the final obstacle and a good leap there sealed victory for the nine year old who was sporting the familiar colours of owner David Johnson.
Murphy played his part in the triumph as he pre-trained The Package in the summer. The jockey said of the 5-1 winner: "He came to me after Cheltenham and I got the pre-training into him.
"As a young horse he would be too keen and do too much, but at the moment he's beautifully settled."
Pipe sees The Package as the yard's main John Smith's Grand National hope and said of the David Johnson-owned winner: "He's really a National horse, but he's in the Hennessy and we'll have to look at that. He's always been a very good horse, and Timmy has ridden a perfect race although the ground was probably softer than ideal."