Ely Brown got his act together over fences to take an incident-filled Totepool Towton Novices' Chase at Wetherby.
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With favourite Shutthefrontdoor pulled out of the contest half an hour before the off, the Grade Two prize suddenly had a more open look to it.
It was Green Flag who was sent off as market leader in Shutthefrontdoor's absence, but his chance went begging when the horse was hampered and jockey Peter Buchanan was unseated on the final circuit as Coverholder took a bad step before being pulled up lame with a fetlock injury that sadly proved fatal.
That unfortunate incident saw Ely Brown and Milborough left clear of their sole remaining rival, and it was the former who got the better of the argument from the third-last fence to score by nine lengths.
Sky Bet kept the winner unchanged at 25/1 for the National Hunt Chase.
Speaking from Sandown, winning trainer Charlie Longsdon said: "There's not much of him, and he's not the best jumper in the world, but Noel gets a great tune out of him and we'll see what the owner wants to do.
"The owner has been fantastic and has got a couple with us now - he's massively enthusiastic.
"He could go to Cheltenham, probably for the four-miler. I'll see what Noel says, he might want to do something different and ride the horse. Noel has made this horse.
"He's been a star for us."
Lucinda Russell said of Green Flag: "He's absolutely fine. He was very unlucky, but that's the way it goes.
"I'd imagine we'll go straight to Cheltenham now for the RSA or the handicap (Festival Handicap Chase). I'd imagine it will be the handicap but we'll see nearer the time."