Veteran Rock On Ruby held off a whole host of challengers up the Ascot straight to win the feature race on day two of the November Racing Weekend here at Ascot, the Coral Hurdle.
The victory in the Grade 2 contest for the 10-year-old brought up a 96/1 treble for trainer Harry Fry and jockey Barry Geraghty on the card as the former Champion Hurdler showed he still retains plenty of zip.
He was always at the head of affairs but all six runners had some sort of chance turning for home as the race developed into a bit of a dash for the line from the second last.
But Geraghty had kept a bit up his sleeve as the pack closed with Grumeti looking to have every chance until a bad blunder at the final flight saw him drop right out of contention.
It left Rock On Ruby still in command and he readily picked up to beat Court Minstrel by two and half lengths.
Fry said: "They've let a Champion Hurdle winner dictate off a slow pace. Although we have been running him over these sort of trips and three miles last time out, he is still not a slow horse. Barry (Geraghty) dictated it and he quickened when he needed.
"It shows how much difference the ground makes as that real soft ground Wetherby he couldn't jump out of it, but today he jumped out of Barry's hands.
"Barry described him as terrier-like when the others came at him. Coming over the last, all he did was battle. He has been fantastic with us from the start.
"He has given them all weight today and I am thrilled to bits."
Vautour made a winning comeback with a battling defeat of Ptit Zig in the Stella Artois 1965 Chase at Ascot.
The exciting six-year-old made all the running under Ruby Walsh and jumped well in the main apart from an error at the seventh-last fence where he seemed to take off too soon.
He was quickly back on an even keel and looked set to win cosily turning in but Ptit Zig threw down a stern challenge from the second last and forced the 2/5 favourite to dig deep into his reserves.
He found plenty for pressure to his credit and pulled one and three quarter lengths clear at the line while former RSA Chase winner O'Faolains Boy was never really going for Barry Geraghty after a lengthy absence and pulled up in front of the stands on the first circuit.
Walsh said: "He made a mistake at the bottom of the hill second time round, but he was quite fresh going to post. I just thought he was rusty.
"I was getting him to pop early on and then he came with a big one, the ditch,down the hill, and was spot on at the next.
"We went a really good enough gallop. Ptit Zig had a run under his belt and was a good novice last year. He had match fitness."
Owner Rich Ricci believes there is plenty of improvement to come from his horse and is looking forward to tackling the King George on Boxing Day.
He said: "I'd say he was about half fit today.
"He's jumped a bit left which can sometimes happens at Ascot, but he needed the run badly and I'm pleased with the way it went.
"I think we will get him fine-tuned for the King George and hopefully he is the horse we think he is. It was a great run and we're delighted with that.
"I hope he's a Gold Cup horse but the King George will tell us a lot as to where we go for the rest of the season.
"He's certainly got the speed to be two-miler, but Ruby and Willie say he will do anything between two and four miles."