Wayward Prince provided Dougie Costello with the biggest success of his career in the Grade One John Smith’s Sefton Novices’ Hurdle.
Ian Williams charge sweep past the favourite Western Leader on the run-in and burst six lengths clear of the Irish raider.
There was some concern for Wayward Prince after the race, but Costello said: “He had dug deep and is just exhausted, he is fine really.
“This is one of my biggest wins along with Leslingtaylor when he won the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock.”
Williams said of the 9-1 winner: “He is a horse of real quality, we are only just seeing the start of him. He is bred to be a chaser and will go straight over fences next season.”
Nicky Henderson’s Burton Port has been a model of consistency this season and he recorded his fifth success from seven starts this season in great style in the matalan.co.uk Mildmay Novices’ Chase.
Having asserted going to the final fence he kept up the gallop in good style for Barry Geraghty to score by three and a quarter lengths from the gallant Dance Island.
He was contributing to a splendid day for his owner Trevor Hemmings who also won the feature race with Albertas Run.
“He is a very tough little devil and a trier which helps,” said Henderson.
“To begin with we just thought he was a nice little horse but he came out of the RSA Chase (when runner-up) the best of our three runners and he deserved this.
“I am very sad Trevor can’t be here, there was no point me saying the horse couldn’t come here because I knew straight after Cheltenham that he would be as Trevor loves Aintree.”
Geraghty added: “He is going the right way, he has kept winning and was second at Cheltenham, which was a great run – it has been great work by Nicky but great work by the horse as well, he hasn’t had overly hard races but he has been in every cock-fight.”
Jonjo O’Neill and A.P McCoy topped up their success with Albertas Run in the Melling Chase when Ringaroses showed the way home in the John Smith’s smithythehorse.com Handicap Hurdle.
Ringaroses was successful over fences last time out and O’Neill said: “He does not jump fences that well and does not jump hurdles too well either but he does have a better chance of getting from A to B over hurdles!
“It has been a brilliant day and we may run him under a penalty at Cheltenham next week, and he will run in those good long distances races on the Flat, maybe the Queen Alexandra at Royal Ascot.”