Aidan Coleman was the head waiter at Doncaster’s pre-Christmas meeting as he delivered a last-gasp double on Equus Amadeus and O O Seven.
Neither horse was in front at the final obstacle, but both were produced with precision to provide cheer for ardent racegoers on a chilly Town Moor.
Go Conquer looked all over the winner as he took the last fence in the concluding bet365 Handicap Chase, but Coleman came knocking on the Nicky Henderson-trained O O Seven (11-8 favourite), who hit the front 50 yards from home to snatch the verdict by half a length.
“I knew I’d finish. He got a bit out-paced up Rose Hill and from then it’s one of those tracks that once you keep galloping, you’ve got a chance,” said Coleman.
“I’ve ridden him in Tophams and in a RSA. He’s a grand horse and a fantastic jumper. He’s unbelievable. Delighted to win on him.”
Equus Amadeus (7-2) was only fourth at the final flight but stayed on best to land the bet365 Handicap Hurdle.
Last year’s winner Irish Roe took the flight in front, but had no answer to Tom Lacey’s runner who powered home to score by four and a half lengths.
Coleman said: “I knew turning in when I was near last that I wouldn’t be far away.
“When they slowed down a bit at the last, he maintained his speed and showed a very good attitude.”
Amour De Nuit (15-8) bounced back from a disappointing run at Ascot to register a third win from four starts over fences in the bet365.com Handicap Chase.
Paul Nicholls’ charge was seen in better light as he stayed on strongly to shrug off the attentions of The Unit by five lengths and set up a double on Town Moor completed by Quel Destin in the Summit Hurdle.
“The last day you have to cross out because it came a bit soon from his run before. He’s much better fresh,” said Megan Nicholls, representing her father, who was at Cheltenham for the success of Frodon in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup.
“You’ve seen today he’s a useful animal.
“His form is obviously better on better ground. There’s no point wasting runs on him, but at the moment the good ground is almost everywhere so it’s not much of a problem.
“There are no initial plans, but it was a nice to get his head back in front in front again and he jumped very well.”
Esprit De Baileys (5-2) was only beaten a neck on his first run over obstacles and went one better with a game front-running display in the bet365 Novices’ Hurdle.
Amy Murphy’s charge found extra on the run to the line for Jack Quinlan to hold Lunar Jet by three-quarters of a length with Newtown Boy a nose away in third.
Murphy said: “Jack said as soon as they quickened up his jumping was slicker, but he’s done it nicely and probably beat a nice horse.
“He’s got the same attitude on the Flat. He will go through a brick wall for you.”
Quinlan picked up a two-day ban for using his whip above the permitted level.
Remember The Days (9-4 favourite) opened his account over jumps at the third attempt in the bet365.com Handicap Hurdle thanks to an enterprising ride by Joe Colliver.
Unhappy with the pace being set, Colliver took the bull by the horns a long way out and the move was rewarded with Jedd O’Keeffe’s four-year-old holding Kings Inn at bay by two lengths.
“We’ve had a quiet spell of late so it’s good to get a winner,” said O’Keeffe.
“He’s coming on well. We bought him as a fun horse for the Flat and hurdling. Hopefully, he can win again.
“Joe adapted. He was jumping quick, he was quite keen and they weren’t going quick enough for him so rather than have a fight with him, he got on with it. Very pleased.
“We’ll find something similar handicapping. This ground was perfect for him but he would go on good to soft, not soft winter ground.”