Blaklion was a shock winner of the RSA Chase, as under a sublime ride from Ryan Hatch, the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained raider fought off a spirited effort from Shaneshill, with the well-fancied duo of More Of That and No More Heroes failing to land a blow in what was an enthralling renewal of the Grade 1 event.
All eyes had been on the market leaders heading into this 3m staying contest, but More Of That and No More Heroes struggled to live up to their lofty reputations, and it was a tenacious Blaklion, who fought off the smooth-travelling Shaneshill, who was aiming to hand Willie Mullins and Graham Wylie a double on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival.
Hatch was sublime throughout, and was always in a fairly prominent position, and as they turned for home he was able to cajole his 8/1 shot into contention, and as No More Heroes and More Of That failed to pick up over the last two fences, Blaklion's main danger was to be Shaneshill, who breezed through the field.
However, Blaklion showed sensational battling qualities in the closing stages, and the owners who suffered disappointment with The New One in yesterday's Champion Hurdle, were able to revel in the glory of a Grade 1 success, as their novice fought off Shaneshill by half-a-length, with More Of That completing the top-three.
14:10 RSA Chase (Grade 1 Novices' Chase) 1.Blaklion - N Twiston-Davies - R Hatch - 8/1 2.Shaneshill - W Mullins - P Townend - 16/1 3.More Of That - J O'Neill - B Geraghty - 6/4F 8 Ran