Venetia Williams' horses are renowned for handling testing ground and that was certainly the case with Emperor's Choice, the 9/2 favourite, who ploughed through the mud to win the Burns Pet Nutrition West Wales National.
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Only five mattered for the last mile as one by one the very heavy ground took its toll from an early stage, but others appeared to be going better than Liam Treadwell's mount.
Firebird Flyer jumped into the lead for Paul Moloney but once in the clear it gave the eventual winner something to aim at and he powered clear to win going away by eight lengths.
Smoking Aces stayed on at one pace back in third, while fourth-home Junior showed much more of his old sparkle for most of the race and Welsh National winner Mountainous also ran with credit.
Speaking from Sandown, where she had also been on the mark, Williams said: "Conditions suited him as he's not the quickest in the world, but he never knows when he's beaten."
Treadwell, who is enjoying his renewed association with Williams this season having won the 2009 Grand National for the yard on 100/1 outsider Mon Mome, said: "He needed that ultimate test there.
"It's attritional stuff and whoever stays goes the longest as much as anything."