By Racinguk.com staff
Ballyoptic reignited his career over fences with a determined victory in the totesport.com Towton Novices' Chase at Wetherby.
Having made a sparkling start to the chasing game at Exeter, he had been put in his place the last twice, admittedly in decent company.
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Sent off the 5-2 joint-favourite, despite conceding a penalty, he was given an extremely patient ride by Tom Bellamy.
Vintage Clouds set the pace after the departure of Pearl Royale and led into the straight, but Shades Of Midnight, the outsider of the field, shot clear two out.
Approaching the last, though, his effort began to peter out and Ballyoptic jumped to the front, holding off Vintage Clouds by two and three-quarter lengths.
It was a third victory in the race for Nigel Twiston-Davies after Ollie Magern and Blaklion.
Bellamy, who was in the headlines for the wrong reasons at Cheltenham on New Year's Day when stood down for failing a breath test, said: "He was brilliant, very professional.
"To be fair, he was the best of these over hurdles but he hadn't shown that form the last twice.
"I felt they went quick enough up front in the ground, so I was happy to bide my time.
"Hopefully this will kick-start my career now, that's my second Grade Two and it won't do me any harm."
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