All the attention was on red-hot favourite Altior in the Arkle Challenge Trophy, as he looked to add this prize to his Supreme Novices' Hurdle win from last season, and the Nicky Henderson-trained superstar was held just off the pace by Nico de Boinville, as the pair stalked Kim Bailey's Charbel, who was sent to the front early by David Bass.
Charbel maintained a cracking gallop as they breezed down the back straight, with Some Plan the only one to struggle with his jumping, but backers of Altior would've been slightly apprehensive approaching the final few fences as de Boinville was beginning to move his hands on the jolly.
However, the race changed hugely as Charbel, who had been foot-perfect for most of the race, buckled on landing and sent David Bass sprawling to the floor, and it was Altior, who was left in front, and an accomplished jump at the last fence saw him maintain his lead, and he held off Cloudy Dream, who had run eye-catchingly around the inside for most of the race.
Altior eventually took the prize by six lengths, with Cloudy Dream finishing a further nine lengths clear of Ordinary World in a race that produced the result many were expecting, but it was not a procession as many had predicted.
14:10 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase (Grade 1)
1.Altior - N Henderson - N De Boinville - 1/4f
2.Cloudy Dream - M Jefferson - B Hughes - 12/1
3.Ordinary World - H De Bromhead - D Russell - 25/1