Harry Topper clears the water jump on his way to victory at NewburyPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Harry Topper snatches unlikely win at Newbury
Report: Newbury, Thursday
GPG Novices' Chase (Grade 2) 3m, 4yo+
HARRY TOPPER stayed on relentlessly under a power-packed Timmy Murphy to collar long-time leader Benefficient and Tony McCoy in a thrilling finish to this highly informative contest.
The winner, trained by in-form Kim Bailey, was under heavy pressure coming into the straight and Irish raider Benefficient looked the most likely winner as he cleared the last with a commanding advantage, but he began to flounder and Harry Topper picked up smartly and ultimately won going away.
Highland Lodge, who disputed the lead throughout, kept on well for third while 15-8 favourite Houblon Des Obeaux, who made a significant error two out, laboured under Aidan Coleman in fourth.
The Nicky Henderson-trained Hadrian's Approach, a winner on his last start at Ascot, was travelling well when he departed at the fourth-last fence.
Harry Topper was introduced at 25-1 with William Hill for next year's RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Bailey said: "He's the horse of my dreams and the best I've had since Master Oats. But he's still weak and therefore I doubt he'd run more than twice more this season. In 18 months he'll be a Cheltenham horse."