Having just his second start over hurdles following a promising debut at Hexham, the JP McManus-owned six-year-old showed reserves of stamina not dissimilar to stablemate One For Arthur, the hero of Aintree in April.
Grand Morning (4-1) stayed on stoutly in testing conditions, having looked beaten before the turn for home, to defeat Nando by a length and a half.
"It was pretty attritional and he gave him a lovely ride," said Russell.
"He's still immature but he's certainly got an engine. He's not backward. He learned a lot at Hexham and if he keeps progressing we might have a nice horse on our hands.
"He does have a knee action so we'll keep him to soft (ground) this year before we go over fences."
Too Many Chiefs (4-1) appears to be developing as an Ayr specialist as he notched a third course win for Sharon Watt in the Jump To It And Join Racing UK Handicap Hurdle.
Donald McCain's good run continued when Hills Of Dubai defied a nine-month absence in the Biggest Jumps Season On Racing UK Chase.
Despite his time off, he was still sent off the 3-1 favourite and the result was never in doubt as Brian Hughes jumped out and made all the running on the chasing debutant.
Baby Ticker (6-1) scored for the Callum and Donald Whillans team, while there was also a win for Kenny Johnson's 13-year-old Rosquero (9-1) in the totepool Betting At totesport.com Handicap Chase.
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