There was a thrilling finish to the 32Red Veteran’s Handicap Chase Final as Buywise came with a late flourish to deny Pete The Feat back-to-back victories in the race at Sandown Park.
Fourteen horses went to post on a day which had already been dominated by veterans Raz De Maree and Alfie Spinner in the Welsh National.
As these popular chasers were sent on their way it was perennial front-runner Loose Chips who led with Theatrical Star, but at the first Vino Griego unseated his rider.
Loose Chips soon established a clear advantage despite the antics of the loose horse, with Cloudy Too in second, Gas Line Boy, No Duffer and Benbens.
Loose Chips took the Pond Fence with a five length lead from Cloudy Too and Gas Line Boy and took the field up in front of the stands and set off on the final circuit, with the loose horse still causing problems.
At the first down the back, Fox Appeal fell towards the rear, while Third Intention started to lose touch.
Up front, Loose Chips still bowled along as he reached the Railway Fences, with Cloudy Too, Gas Line Boy and Pete The Feat closer, followed by Buywise.
Three out it was Loose Chips but he was joined by last year’s winner Pete The Feat and Cloudy Too, with Buywise beginning to close.
Pete the Feat, fourteen years-old, took the initiative and cleared the last in front, but Buywise and Leighton Aspell had been biding their time and played their hand on the flat to deny their gallant rival with a late burst of speed to win by a couple of lengths.
Back in third there was another cracking battle, with Gas Line Boy inching out Cloudy Too, the pair ahead of the game Loose Chips and Houblon Des Obeaux.
The Evan Williams trained Buywise, eleven now, has often run well in defeat, making this £100,000 prize all the more sweet.
Aspell said: “People will have seen him running in all those good races, knocking on the door for years.
“He’s turned up year after year, but a race like this gave him a good opportunity to win.
“It’s the first time I’ve ridden him. As he gets older he’s staying further, he got round in the National last year.”