Notarfbad dug deep to cling on to victory in the Lord Mildmay Memorial Handicap Chase at Newton Abbot.
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Nick Scholfield was positive from the off aboard Jeremy Scott's charge, building up a couple of lengths advantage at one stage before the field started to come back to him with a couple to jump in the extended two-mile-five-furlong event.
Notarfbad (9-1) was still in front at the last but Houston Dynimo was gaining with every stride, with Scholfield asking his mount for every effort in the shadow of the post.
Notarfbad responded, hanging on by a head at the line with Buck Mulligan a further six lengths back in third.
Dursey Sound was sent off the 2-1 favourite for Jonjo O'Neill and Tony McCoy but could finish only eighth of the nine runners.
Scholfield told At The Races: "Nine times out of 10, you won't get an easy lead.
"We used to hold him up and he'd fight the whole way but since we've been making the running, admittedly over two, he has settled. He's more chilled than ever today."
However, there was a sting in the tail for Scholfield as the winning jockey was hit with a seven-day ban for using his whip above the permitted level and without giving his horse time to respond.
He will be sidelined from September 16-17, 19, 21 and 24-26. He was also fined £400.