Neil King equalled his best seasonal total of 34 winners after The Knot Is Tied finally got his head in front in the Be Wiser Insurance Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at Newbury.
Having finished second on his three previous starts, the four-year-old appeared to appreciate the step up in trip as he got the better of a late battle with Legal History, to give King his first winner at the Berkshire track in more than 10 years.
King said of the 11-2 winner: “It was getting to that time of year where it needed to be a big prize that he won and not just an ordinary juvenile hurdle.
“He has done nothing wrong at all. He ran third here first time out and has been consistent all the way through.
“I blame myself last time as all he does is stay and gallop and I told Bryony (Frost) to make plenty of use of him and he just got caught on the line.
“He is a nice, big horse and will jump a fence in the future. There will be more races on the Flat for him as well.”
He added: “The race we will look at is the four-year-old race Lil Rockerfeller won on the last day of the season at Sandown.”
Jonjo O’Neill junior shone in the saddle as Chic Name ended a recent spell in the doldrums with a gutsy success in the Insure With Be Wiser Handicap Chase, setting up a possible trip to Sandown for a shot at the Bet365 Gold Cup.
Trainer Richard Hobson said of the 9-2 scorer: “We left the hood on far too long. He was almost sulking in his races on his last few starts.
“Jonjo O’Neill gave him a cracking ride and that did the business. I was gutted he didn’t get in the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham, but that was compensation today.
“He is in the Topham (at Aintree) and it would be fantastic if he got in that. The Bet365 is definitely an option.”