Tour Des Champs won a gruelling contest by inches as he just held off the late challenge of Doctor Harper in the Watch Live Racing On BetBright.com Handicap Chase at Cheltenham this afternoon.
A good field of 16 went to post for this real stamina testing contest over three miles, 2 ½ furlongs, with the going now soft.
Kingswell Theatre and Sizing Codelco were the early leaders, with A Good Skin also prominent as the field passed the post for the first time.
Racing down the back straight, A Good Skin and Sizing Codelco disputed the lead with Any Curency taking closer order to the outside and Chase The Spud moving closer too.
With nearly a circuit completed, Samingarry was pulled up when tailed off, before the tenth fence.
Racing down the home straight again, A Good Skin and Sizing Codelco continued to lead with A Good Spud close-up between the two.
At the water jump for the final time, A Good Skin moved back to the lead from Sizing Codelco, while at the following ditch, Chase The Spud was not fluent and Vyta Du Roc pulled up.
Arpege D’Alene pecked at the 17th and at the next, the front trio closed-up again, with Tour Des Champs poised on the outside and Racing Pulse making good ground from the back along with Doctor Harper.
Three from home Sizing Codelco and Tour Des Champs led with Racing Pulse and Warrantor stating on.
Tour Des Champs turned for home in front and headed to the second last with a 3 lengths lead and went further clear.
Racing to the last the leader slowed into the jump though and gave Doctor Harper and Arpege D’Alene fresh impetus.
The pair closed on the leader in a slow motion finish but Robert Dunne just held on from Doctor Harper, with Arpege D’Alene on their heels in third, well clear of Sizing Codelco in fourth.
The 10 year old was giving Samuel Drinkwater a big success in his fledgling training career, having joined from the yard of Nigel Twiston-Davies.