Sam Waley-Cohen warmed up for the Gold Cup by winning the Rewards4Racing Novices' Handicap Chase on Rajdhani Express (16/1).
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The top-weight impressed at Kempton over Christmas before flopping at Cheltenham next time, but showed that to be all wrong with a game performance to fend off Ackertac (66/1).
The runner-up, blinkered for the first time, closed all the wine to the line following the last fence but couldn't get to Rajdhani Express, who'd been ridden patiently before joining in at the top of the hill.
Ohio Gold (16/1) travelled well for Colin Tizzard and jumped the second-last in front before being left behind, while Shangani (6/1) rallied having been handy throughout to take fourth ahead of favourite Colour Squadron.
The winning amateur jockey rides Long Run in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday as they bid for a second win in the race following their 2011 success.
It has been a memorable few days for the rider following the recent birth of his first child.
He said: "They say good things come in threes, so fingers crossed.
"I'm so pleased for Rajdhani, we bred him at home and his sister, Shatabdi, gave me enough wins to ride in the Grand National, so we know the family well.
"He jumped so beautifully - he just goes orbital and it's just the most incredible feeling.
"It was a rough race and there were moments you didn't get the splits that you wanted, but he was brave and kept finding his balance and kept galloping.
"You come to Cheltenham and you don't dream you're going to win these races - it's magical.
"I'll get home, give my wife and my new baby a kiss and watch the replays.
"It's a great day."
Trainer Nicky Henderson said: "He has jumped great.
"It was very soft here last time and that wasn't his true form.
"We thought at Kempton over Christmas he was going to be a very good horse.
"I'd love to go for the Topham (at Aintree)."
Owner of Rajdhani Express and father of the winning jockey, Robert Waley-Cohen, said: "It's my first home-bred winner at the Festival, so that's a huge pleasure."