Bostons Angel neatly emphasised the highs and lows of racing when emerging triumphant in the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
The hardy seven-year-old is trained by Jessica Harrington and was ridden by Robbie Power, with both having endured heartache 35 minutes earlier when Oscars Well threw away a race-winning position in the Neptune with a bad mistake at the last.
But redemption was as swift as it was satisfying as Bostons Angel brought to the table jumping prowess and buckets of stamina to collect what looked on paper to be a vintage renewal.
With 7-4 favourite Time For Rupert running a largely lifeless race before staying on late to finish fifth, and Mikael D’Haguenet falling, the stage was admittedly set for a minor shock.
Bostons Angel was sent off at 16-1, despite a couple of Grade One triumphs, and he fenced with aplomb and was right there turning for home.
Jessies Dream loomed up as a big danger, but it was Bostons Angel who found most up the hill to score by a neck.
“I thought Oscars Well was my best chance of the week – he was terribly unlucky,” Power said.
“This lad is as tough as nails and he never knows when he’s beat.
“At the top of the hill I was going nowhere, I set him alight at the bottom of the hill and he galloped all the way to the line.”
Harrington added: “I’ve been saying all along he wants three miles (4800m) and the tougher it is, the better he likes it.
“I actually thought the Midlands National was the race for him. He proved me wrong so we came here.
“I always had a sneaky feeling he was the right horse for this race.
“He stays really well, he jumps soundly and you can kick him into every fence and he gets himself right.
“He’s very easy on himself. He doesn’t like having his head in front for too long and he just does enough.
“Fairyhouse and Punchestown are possibles, but he’s now won three Grade Ones and he might have a holiday.”