After a succession of near-misses and the disappointment of Sprinter Sacre, Nicky Henderson ensured he would not leave the Cheltenham Festival empty handed as Call The Cops landed the Pertemps Final.
An impressive winner at Doncaster less than two weeks ago, the penalty he picked up that day ensured he got into the race and while he looked a blot on the handicap, it very rarely works out like that.
However, Malton jockey Andrew Tinkler was always in the right position and although there appeared to be several in with chances approaching the last, including Unique De Cotte and 50-1 outsider Henryville, Call The Cops (9-1) bounded up the hill.
He had a length-and-three-quarters to spare over Unique De Cotte with The Tourard Man third and Henryville fourth.
“It’s taken a couple of days, but we’re very pleased,” said Henderson. “The way it was going I thought something would come and nail us. For Matt Morgan who owns him this makes up for the way it’s gone with Sign Of A Victory this season as initially he was the big hope.
“I’m pleased for Andrew, he deserves it as he’s been a star.”
Tinkler added: “It’s a different atmosphere here to any other week of the year. It’s been a long time between wins but we will celebrate and enjoy it.
“He’s grown in confidence since Doncaster and he put it all to use today. It was a fantastic run.”
Earlier, Vautour roared to favouritism for next year’s Gold Cup after bouncing right back to his brilliant best to win the JLT Novices’ Chase by a wide margin.
An impressive winner of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle last season, the Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old never missed a beat under Ruby Walsh and put in some spectacular leaps on the way round to victory.