Balder Succes ran out an impressive winner of the Doom Bar Maghull Novices' Chase at Aintree.
Trained by Alan King, the six-year-old skipped Cheltenham with this event in mind and the decision paid off handsomely as he came home four lengths to the good over Simply Ned.
Confirmed front-runner Next Sensation took the seven-runner field along, with favourite Trifolium in his slipstream and the eventual winner settled kindly in behind.
Next Sensation still led coming to three from the finish but the distress signals were soon out and he was passed approaching the penultimate fence.
Balder Succes (7/2) strode on approaching the last and a bold leap there sealed the win, with Nicky Richards' outsider Simply Ned running a stormer in second and Trifolium having to settle for third.
King was thrilled with the performance and hailed his jumping ability as a key asset, commenting: "He was good today. He needed one at the last and got it, his jumping was great all the way round.
"It's paid off not going to Cheltenham with him, he was fresh and well - I'm delighted."
It could be a trip to Ireland next for the winner, with King saying: "He could go Punchestown. He gets two and a half miles, but I think he's better over two.
"Early in the season we thought we had to make the running, but we knew there'd be pace on today so we didn't want to do that. Fences have made a man of him.
"He's just gained confidence all season and fences have toughened him up a little bit. He's always been a good horse, but he was a bit soft over hurdles. He couldn't cope with big fields in those handicaps.
"You'd have to say he's getting better. If he does go anywhere else it will be Punchestown. The owner likes to go to Punchestown so if he does go anywhere it will be there, otherwise we'll put him away for next season.
"To begin with (next season) we'll stick to the two-mile route and see where we are. He just got home over two and a half at Kempton."
Hutchinson said: "I got in tight to the ditch, but he was very good. I set sail and it was do or die - he was very honest and he's come for me all the way to the the line.
"It just took me three fences to hit my rhythm, but when we steadied up going to the back his jumping got me going again."
Richards was proud of Simply Ned's effort in second and is alreadt planning a potential starting point next season saying: "He's had a good, consistent season.
"The handicapper won't be kind on him, I don't think, but I'd like to try him right-handed around places like Ascot and Sandown.
"We'll have to mix it with the big boys, maybe we'd start off in something like the Jenny Mould Chase (at Cheltenham in December)."
Charles Byrnes said of Irish raider Trifolium: "It was a good run, although he didn't jump as well as he can. He'll definitely go to Punchestown."
Sky Bet offer 12/1 for Balder Succes in the 2015 Queen Mother Champion Chase market and spokesperson Michael Shinners said: "Impressive performance from Balder Succes, who appears to be improving all the time.
"With little depth in the Queen Mother market he looks to be an interesting horse for the future.
"However, the fact connections opted to miss Cheltenham this season would have to be a slight concern looking ahead to next year's Festival."