Colin Tizzard picked up his first winner of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival, as the 33/1 outsider Kilbricken Storm produced a gutsy staying performance to win the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle, as he beat the Nicky Henderson duo of OK Corral and Santini in a real war of attrition on Friday afternoon.
This 3m test in rain-softened ground was always going to see the toughest performers rise to the top, and Fabulous Saga had appeared to steal an unassailable lead coming into the straight, but there was no surprise to that challenger struggle to see it out after setting a decent gallop.
In behind Harry Cobden on board Kilbricken Storm was eating into Fabulous Saga's lead, and they cruised past him, and while the likes of well-backed favourite Santini and OK Corral were trying to get to the front, they were unable to close the gap in the closing stages.
It was the second 33/1 winner of the afternoon following Moohayed's win in the County Hurdle, and it was one for the British, as they landed the top three spots in a race that set it up nicely for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, which comes at 3:30pm.
14:50 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered As The Spa Novices' Hurdle)
1.Kilbricken Storm - C Tizzard - H Cobden - 33/1
2.Ok Corral - N Henderson - B Geraghty - 16/1
3.Santini - N Henderson - N De Boinville - 11/4f