NICKY HENDERSON will be thanking Lady Luck after Burrows Edge (5-1) benefited from final flight chaos to land the Lanzarote Hurdle.
The Seven Barrows maestro notched his fourth win in a contest that served up plenty of drama.
Approaching the last, everyone in Surrey would have been forgiven for thinking Suzy Smith’sDebestymanhad the race sewn up.
The seven-year-old came to the front travelling strongly under Michael Nolan but misjudged the final flight and threw her jockey to the floor, leaving hot favourite Notre Pariready to pounce in second.
But the jolly took a leaf out of his rival’s book and made a total hash of the last, dumping Barry Geraghty in the turf – with the way clear for Burrows Edge to streak away for an easy success.
Vive Le Roi (16-1) boxed on for second, withEchiquier (8-1) picking up third spot.
Winning jockey Nico De Boinville said: “It woudn’t be the most conventional way to win a valuable handicap hurdle but they all count!
“These things happen and it fell our way today.”
A relieved Henderson said: “He had a fall and you could still see he had Ludlow on his mind and he is a bit like that. I won’t say he isn’t brave, but he has a mind that takes plenty of clearing.
“It’s a race that has been quite lucky for us. Sophie (wife) said this morning two years ago I wasn’t here as I went off to get married and William Henry won it. I went to Scotland then, but today I’m here and we still won it.
“He is talented, but he is a horse that has got his quirks – there is no doubt about that.
“He is a horse that ought to be jumping fences and he was running a good race at Ludlow until he fell.
“I can see that happening (staying over hurdles). I can’t see any point in going to Bangor-on-Dee to win a 3,000 novice chase. We want try to get his confidence back and have a crack at another one of these.
“He has finished that enjoying himself, which is always a good thing. That is not his ground and he will be miles better on better ground.
“We will look at Coral Cups and things like that.”
Earlier on the card, Frodon (11-8) bounced back to his best with an emphatic front-running victory in the Grade 2 Silviniaco Conti Chase.
Last year’s Ryanair winner was always at the head of affairs under an enterprising Bryony Frost and ground out victory from Mulcahys Hillin second.
Top Notch, sent off the 11-10f, travelled well into the straight but the petrol tank soon emptied and he could only box on for third.