Silviniaco Conti got back on the winning trail with a determined victory in the Bowl at Aintree for Paul Nicholls and Noel Fehily.
The King George VI Chase winner led jumping the final fence in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month before wandering under pressure and finishing fourth, and he was a 9-4 shot for his latest Grade One assignment.
Fehily was keen to ensure Thursday’s three-mile-one-furlong (5000m) contest was a searching test of stamina and set a good gallop from the outset, closely pursued by last year’s Bowl winner, First Lieutenant.
The pair led their rivals into the straight, with hot favourite Dynaste, Argocat and Menorah all laying down a challenge.
Dynaste eventually emerged as the biggest threat to Silviniaco Conti, who again wandered across the track, but Nicholls’ charge jumped the final fence well and kept up the gallop to hold the market leader by a length and a half.
Argocat came through to grab third from First Lieutenant.
“I think he likes a little bit of company, he likes to go along with other horses,” Fehily said.
“I was ever so disappointed to get beat in the Gold Cup because I thought he was the best horse and in the end I didn’t end up in the first three.”