The race had looked the perfect opportunity for Ed Dunlop's King Kevin to draw level with Spare Parts and Star Ascending on five wins during the current all-weather season. And with a £10,000 prize up for grabs for the winner of that award it is not to be sniffed at.
King Kevin is the perfect example of a horse for whom the all-weather suits perfectly, beginning his winning run from a mark of 48 and now racing off 75.
However, Rab Havlin suffered a very troubled passage, and with Blue Rocks in front of him and Perceived on his outside, the odds-on favourite had nowhere to go.
Lisa Williamson's Blue Rocks, nibbled at in the market from as big as 66-1, stuck on gamely to deny Perceived by a head for 7lb apprentice Gabriele Malune.
"It was a very nice surprise, but, in another sense, not a surprise as he's a very nice horse still learning the game," said Cheshire-based Williamson.
"I'd said to the owner he wants stepping up in trip as he just keeps galloping. I told Gabriele that if he was going well to let him stride on and stretch them.
"I ride him at home and think he's lovely. He's now won over five furlongs and nearly 10 and we might even step him up again.
"It's great for his owner Peter Thomas - he's been a big supporter of mine. It's a big team effort in these conditions so having a winner makes it all worthwhile."
Olly Murphy registered his 50th winner since taking out a licence when Compatriot (8-15 favourite) followed up a recent victory in the Betway Live Casino Handicap.
Murphy said: "He was given an enterprising ride and won cosily.
"He's in on Friday at Chelmsford again under a double penalty so if he eats up he'll run again.
"Wherever we can go to get a winner we will. He'll go jumping hurdles in the summer."
The feature Betway Handicap was won by Upavon (6-1) on his first start for Tony Carroll since leaving Stuart Williams.
Carroll had earlier won the opening eight-and-a-half-furlong handicap with Jeremy's Jet (9-2).
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