King Massini handed Evan Williams a massive filip ahead of the StanJames.com International Hurdle with a victory at Cheltenham in the Captain Caviar Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Chase.
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Ryan Hatch attempted to stretch the field aboard morning gamble Have You Seen Me with an aggressive ride but the petrol began to empty rapidly on the turn in as Nigel Twiston-Davies' veteran paid the penalty for his labours and King Massini took over after the second last.
The seven-year-old has looked an improved performer this season and his backers would have been forgiven for counting their money at that point but Hit The Headlines came through with a breathtaking run under Keith Donoghue to wrest the spoils but the Welsh raider found a little bit more as they dived for the line.
Winning rider, Adam Wedge said of his partner: "I wasn't sure come the line, I thought halfway up the run-in we were beat but he's stuck in and done it nicely."
Williams said: "The owners always want to run him at Ludlow but he had to come here as he's due to go up 6lb tomorrow.
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"Adam's claim makes a big difference in these boys' races."
A predictably philospohical Gordon Elliott remarked of the runner-up: "It was the plan for a while to come here today and it nearly worked, he ran really well. Keith gave him a great ride and neither horse or jockey have done anything wrong."
The pair finished well clear of third-placed Max Bygraves.