Corrin Wood produced a fine round of jumping to end Black Thunder's winning sequence and earn a 25/1 quote from Sky Bet for the RSA Chase.
- Related Content
Jason Maguire injected some pace into the contest down the far straight on the final circuit of the Betfred Goals Galore Extra Novices' Chase and three quick jumps suddenly had his rivals working.
As the two outsiders began to struggle, 10/11 favourite Black Thunder closed in on the leader and Daryl Jacob's mount tried his best to get on terms.
But another two good jumps from Corrin Wood in the home straight saw the 2/1 chance, trained by Donald McCain, able to maintain his advantage and he galloped to the line to score by two and a half lengths.
"He's a grand horse who loved this ground as well," said McCain. "I didn't really know where we stood after Kempton, but I thought I'd try him in this type of race and see.
"We just didn't know. He's been impressive, very impressive, but he was never quite right after Haydock last season so we gave him the time off to come right and that's probably what's made the difference with him.
"He's a smashing horse and he justifies an entry [in the RSA]. I'd come here thinking that if he runs well, we might look at the RSA, whereas if he was second or third we might go for the four-miler - but who knows, that might be the race for him.
"Obviously long-term I might have a race in mind for him, but there's a long way to go. He'll stay three and a half miles and I hope he'll stay four - and yes, even four and a half!"
"We've put him in at 25/1 for the RSA and 12/1 for the National Hunt Chase, which is the best price available for that race at present," commented Sky Bet spokesman Michael Shinners. "It will be interesting to see which route they decide to take with him, but he did seem to be jumping slightly to his right which could be a bit of a concern for Cheltenham."