Grand National-winning trainer Dr Richard Newland landed another notable success when Ebony Express had a shock win in the Imperial Cup at Sandown.
The 33-1 shot and jockey Will Kennedy battled hard to hold off the challenge of Rayvin Black (also 33-1).
Last year's second Gassin Golf finished third, just ahead of top weight Camping Ground (25-1).
Newland confirmed that he hopes his horse will take part in Friday's County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
The trainer won the National at Aintree last year with Pineau De Re.
The six-year-old is entered both in that race and the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle, which is due to be run the same day, but a win in the County Hurdle would see him land a £100,000 bonus.
Ebony Express was always in contention despite the challenging conditions and once he was asked to quicken he responded in style.
"I know he stays further and he's not very big but he is a really tough horse," said Kennedy.