Master Overseer and Tom Scudamore galloped their rivals into submissionPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Overseer masters Quartz in gruelling staying test
Report: Cheltenham, Friday
Majordomo Hospitality Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m1½f, 4yo+
THE handicappers' burden proved just too much for Quartz De Thaix, up 17lb since winning at Bangor last month, as he was outstayed up the Cheltenham hill by the redoubtable Master Overseer.
As a Midlands and Sussex National winner Master Overseer, described as "the slowest horse we've got" by trainer David Pipe, looked up against it in good company over a trip short of his best.
However he was perfectly suited by the sodden, testing conditions created by heavy rain through the morning.
Rider Tom Scudamore took the initiative and ensured the race would prove a genuine test of stamina by cutting out a respectable pace as front-runner.
Becauseicouldntsee and Crash were prominent early, while market leaders Quartz De Thaix and Bradley raced in company towards the outside and rear.
Master Overseer, an 11-1 chance, was jumping and travelling with confidence upfront as some rivals - notably Bradley - began to flag, bemired in the mud, on the final circuit. Crash, also travelling fairly well at a big price, succumbed to nominative determinism and fell at the sixth last.
Planet Of Sound made progress to get into contention, although it was 3-1 shot Quartz De Thaix who proved the greater danger.
The Venetia Williams-trained eight-year-old took a narrow lead approaching the last but a tremendous leap from the courageous Master Overseer set up a blood and guts endurance test up the hill which saw the Pipe horse triumph by three quarters of a length.
Pipe said: "He's the slowest horse we've got but the most honest. He has just got that one pace. If it was a six mile race he would keep going. He wasn't even blowing after the race. The rain came in time."
Master Overseer was pulled up when favourite on his previous appearance last month at Haydock, about which Pipe added: "All his form is on soft so we were in the dark about what went wrong at Haydock. It was probably just the track."