Mark Bradstock's Carruthers outstayed his rivals to land a famous victory in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury this afternoon.
The 10-1 shot, who is part-owned and was bred by Lord Oaksey, proved a popular victor as he held Planet Of Sound by three and three-quarter lengths in gutsy style.
Fair Along stayed on from a long way back to be third with Paddy Power winner Great Endeavour, who crept into it under a magnificent waiting ride from Timmy Murphy, eventually just running out of petrol in fourth.
Mattie Batchelor always had the eight-year-old Carruthers charge in the front rank, with favourite Aiteen Thirtythree another also keen to force the pace in the hands of Ruby Walsh.
Michel Le Bon and Planet Of Sound also appeared to be contenders for glory, while Great Endeavour threw down his challenge on the far side rail as he tried to become only the fourth horse to do the Paddy Power-Hennessy double.
Great Endeavour looked to have the measure of Carruthers two fences from home, but Batchelor’s mount was giving his all up the stands rail and held the verdict going to the last.
Carruthers sealed victory with a fine leap at the final obstacle, and Batchelor merely had to keep him up to the task on the run to the line.
An emotional Batchelor said: ``I can't speak. I lost my mum two years ago today.
“He’s a brilliant old horse, last year he was wrong, this year he’s better than ever.
“I schooled him the other morning and he was in the form of his life. He doesn’t know when to give up. He came up for me at the last – he’s a great horse.”
Bradstock said: ``It's my biggest win by a long way. You've obviously got the King George and the Gold Cup, but the Hennessy is in the top six races you would want to win as a trainer.
“We bought the mare just as a bit of fun for John Oaksey’s retirement and this is her first progeny.
“We’re just a small yard, but we’ve got good owners and horses like this are a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
“Maybe the tongue tie helped but he stays well and I’m so grateful for my wife who does all the work with him.”
Philip Hobbs was thrilled with the efforts of both Planet Of Sound and Fair Along.
He said: “Fair Along has run an absolute blinder and it looks like he’s going to be suited by staying chases from now on.
“Planet Of Sound has run particularly well considering it was was his first run for nearly a year.
“I’ve just been talking to the owners and he might be a nice horse to train for the Grand National.”
David Pipe reported of Great Endeavour: “Timmy (Murphy) felt that he just emptied out in the closing stages.”