The New One dug deep to claim a fourth victory in the Unibet Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock.
Nigel Twiston-Davies' 10-year-old was conceding 6lb to each of his three rivals and after running down a couple of hurdles, it looked as though the evens favourite might have to give best to Ch'Tibello, who was travelling particularly well.
That horse jumped to the front at the last but The New One was not going down without a fight and he kept finding more under the urging of Sam Twiston-Davies.
Ch'Tibello was still in front a matter of strides from the line, but The New One kept battling and eventually prevailed by half a length, with Unison back in third.
The winning trainer said: "We know he's not at his best here in heavy ground, but that is the fourth time he's won it now - surely they must name the race after him.
"He carried a 6lb penalty, too, so if they were off level weights he'd have done it comfortably.
"He appears to be better than ever at the age of 10, which tells you all you need to know about him.
"He's just so tough, we love him and while he'll get an entry in the Champion Hurdle in case the wheels fall off the others, it will be straight to the Stayers' now.
"He's never been that impressive in this race, in a way that's probably his best win.
"I've certainly never won the same race four times, never mind a Grade Two.
"Quite simply he's the horse of a lifetime. He's lost nothing of his enthusiasm."
The winning jockey said: "He was excellent and he goes for the Stayers' now. After grinding that out, it looks a really good target and something to look forward to.
"He's nearly paid my mortgage - I'll have to rename my house!
"This horse has meant the world to me since day one and he's still doing it now on the big stage. He's 10 so it's getting a bit tougher, but fair play to him. He's a fantastic horse."
Trainer Dan Skelton said of the runner-up Ch'Tibello: "Fair play to The New One, I wish he was ours.
"Our race ran very well, but we've no excuses, hopefully he'll get his day in the sun soon."