Ballybolley got the better of Relic Rock in a pulsating finish to the Weatherbys Private Banking Champion Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race, the final race of Aintree's three-day Crabbie's Grand National meeting.
Nigel Twiston-Davies' point-to-point recruit came into the race with a perfect record after two starts in bumpers at a lower level and he took the step up to Grade Two company in his stride.
Ridden by the trainer's son, Sam Twiston-Davies, the 14/1 shot was keen enough in the early stages towards the back of the field but settled into a nice rhythm at the halfway stage.
Tony McCoy grabbed the bull by the horns on turning into the straight, sending the strong-travelling Relic Rock clear of his rivals.
He looked to have the contest well in command entering the final furlong but Ballybolley emerged to lay down a strong challenge.
The pair locked horns in a tremendous battle on the run to the line and it was Ballybolley who came out on top, winning by a head.
Aqalim filled the placings in third, with Ordo Ab Chao fourth home.
Twiston-Davies, who has won this race in the past with the likes of The New One, said: "Let's hope he's as good as The New One.
"He had to knuckle down and I think it was a good race.
"That will do for him now and it's all go for next season, novice hurdling.
"He's an exciting horse. He'd run in point-to-points before we had him, so he had experience. He's a nice horse."
The winning jockey was thrilled to have got the better of McCoy in a tight finishing, saying: "That was great. He was very tough. He was hanging in a bit up the straight but I always thought I was going to pick up A P [McCoy, on the runner-up].
"I was just trying to keep him on the straight and narrow for one crack at it and when he knuckled down in the final furlong he was really game."