Tzigane Du Berlais got the best of an exciting finish to land the 128tgh renewal of the Velka Pardubicka in the Czech Republic.

Twenty went to post for this great race, over 4 miles 2 ½ furlongs.

The field streamed over the first two fences OK and it was Hegnus and Ter Mill who led as they reached The Taxis, where the latter was one of four horses who fell. Over the Irish Bank, Vajgaros unseated Leighton Aspell.

Without reaching the quarter point, seven were already out of the contest.

Meanwhile, Bridgeur led the remaining runners, with Ange Guardian and Hegnus also up with the pace.

The 13 still standing, were all jumping well, as they passed the stands and headed back into the country.

Bridgeur continued to lead from Hegnus and Stretton and Nikas.

Having jumped the brick wall, the field began to bunch behind Bridgeur, but the long-time leader continued to tow the field along as they crossed the plough.

With less than a mile to race, Bridgeur was pressed by Nikas and Stretton, with Hegnus and Ange Guardian next, while Zarif was much closer and then came Tzigane Du Berlais.

Bridgeur continued to lead Stretton and Zarif, as the field headed out on the last circuit.

Turning for home, Bridgeur led Stretton and Zarif, with Ange Guardian travelling well.

The leader finally folded and Stretton went on from Ange Guardian, and at the last, Tom Garner appeared to have a great chance of victory aboard Stretton.

But on the outside, Tzigane Du Berlais, racing on the stands side, began to get up on the flat and went clear on the run-in to give Jan Falteksek a fifth victory in the race.

Second home came the gallant Hegnus, with Stretton taking third, ahead of Zarif and last year’s winner No Time To Lose.