Acdc sprang a surprise as he saw off favourite Ballyandy to win the Bobby Renton Handicap Chase at Wetherby.
The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Ballyandy was sent off 11-10 favourite for the extended two-mile-three-furlong feature – but having just his fourth start over fences, his jumping came under pressure and he could not find the necessary momentum to throw down a challenge.
It was left to Willie Boy to set the early pace, but he made a mistake when the pace turned up a notch and Acdc seized the initiative under Liam Quinlan with three fences to jump.
A blunder at the penultimate obstacle let his rivals have a second bite of the cherry, but Acdc winged the last to pull three lengths clear at odds of 12-1 for trainer Chris Grant.
He said: “We were a bit worried about the trip being on the short side for him – but we thought as he goes on the ground, we could start there and we can always step him up again.
“It was a lovely run, and he’s a grand sort of a horse.
“I don’t know what the plan will be now – I’ll have to talk to the owner. I know they’d like to end up in Scotland in April, but it’s a long time between now and then.”
The Twiston-Davies team may have been out of luck with Ballyandy, but Kapgarry (evens favourite) ensured they did not go home empty-handed after a two-and-a-half-length verdict in the Sixt Rent A Car Ride Smug Novices’ Hurdle.
Lough Derg Spirit recovered from a couple of blunders to make a successful debut over fences in the Bet At racinguk.com Novices’ Chase.
A useful performer over hurdles for Nicky Henderson, Lough Derg Spirit was sent off the 4-9 favourite, but his supporters suffered an early scare as he clattered through the fourth fence.
Nico de Boinville maintained his composure in the saddle, though – and once his mount got back on an even keel, he always appeared to have the measure of his nearest challenger El Terremoto.
His task was further eased when that one crashed out four fences from home – and while Lough Derg Spirit hit the third last, he again recovered to come home clear of the only other finisher, Cool Mix.
Monbeg Theatre (11-4 favourite) fended off Nautical Theatre by a neck in the bet365 Charlie Hall Meeting 2nd & 3rd November Handicap Hurdle, and Theflyingportrait (7-2) emerged victorious in the 100% Racing UK Profits Back To Racing Handicap Chase for Jennie Candlish and jockey Sean Quinlan.
Richard Johnson’s journey to Yorkshire paid dividends as Innocent Touch (9-4) saw off Midnight Shadow in the closing Watch Racing UK Anywhere Handicap Hurdle.