Little Bruce put up a stirring front-running display to run his rivals into the ground in the Cambridgeshire National Handicap Chase at Huntingdon.
Phil Kirby’s seven-year-old relished the stamina test posed by the extended three and three-quarter miles – and his race won some way out in the hands of 3lb claimer Tommy Dowson.
After pulling away from his closest pursuer Bishops Road, Little Bruce (3-1 favourite) kept on going stoutly to win by seven lengths from The Happy Chappy, who stayed on for second place.
Bishops Road was the only other finisher in the seven-strong field, some 16 lengths further away.
“He was very good. Tommy was very positive on him and gave him a great ride,” said Kirby.
“He’s probably been crying out for a trip like that. Today he just enjoyed himself and his jumping was brilliant. It kept him in it all the way round.”
He added: “That was the plan – today. The handicapper is not going to be too kind for that.
“He’s not the biggest, so he probably wants to be not carrying top-weight and wants to be running in open handicaps with less weight, but whether he can handle going up in the weight, we will find out.
“He deserved that. He was a bit unlucky at Catterick and didn’t get into the same rhythm.
“That’s his job done today.”