Delta Work retained his Glenfarclas Chase title as Gordon Elliott won the Cheltenham Festival cross-country feature for the fifth time in seven years.
Last year Delta Work had to play the role of pantomime villain as he spoiled the retirement party of Tiger Roll by edging out the dual Grand National winner in a thriller.
But this time around he was the people’s favourite, with the 10-year-old was sent off the heavily-backed 11-10 market leader.
Kept in the perfect place throughout by Keith Donoghue, he edged his way to the lead shortly after jumping the Aintree fence for the final time.
Delta Work was soon joined at the head of proceedings by stablemate and 11-4 second-favourite Galvin and it was soon obvious the classy Elliott duo were the only ones with a real chance of taking home the first prize.
Matching strides approaching the last, Donoghue always looked to be holding on to that little bit more than Davy Russell aboard Galvin and so it proved in the closing stages as Delta Work came home with a two-and-a-half-length advantage.
Donoghue was picking up his fourth victory in the race having steered Tiger Roll to success in 2018, 19 and 21, while both the winner and runner-up will now head to Aintree for the Randox Grand National.
Betfair make Delta Work 14-1 from 20-1, while Galvin is 16-1 from 25s for success in Liverpool on April 15.
Elliott said: “I love the cross-country race. It was great to have the one-two and see Galvin run a great race because he will come on for it.
“I’m pleased for Keith who is having his best ever season, but Jack (Kennedy, injured stable jockey) is a team player and he’s here lending his support. Jack will be back on these horses when he’s passed fit to return.
“Both horses will now go for the Grand National.”
He added: “I hoped it would be Delta’s day, to be honest, but really I don’t care what wins as I just love having winners.”
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