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Master trainer Willie Mullins broke his long-wait for a Ladbroke Trophy winner after favourite Total Recall saw off Nicky Henderson's Whisper in a thrilling finish.
The eight-year-old came into the race following a 18lb rise following his comfortable win in the Munster National, and was placed well in midfield for jockey Paul Townsend.
He crept closer into contention before falling behind Nicky Henderson's dual Grade One runner-up with a furlong to go, but he rallied back to claim the lead in the final strides.
"I think a lot of the credit must go to Sandra Hughes, who used her father's training methods and let this horse progress very slowly," Mullins said.
"Paul was fantastic. He was very cool. I thought he was beaten going to the last, but he switched sides and got a different run on the other side, it worked a treat.
"It's a tough race for the Irish to win, why I don't know."
Bookmakers have currently priced him at 25-1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, where trainer Willie Mullins will give him an entry too.
"He will definitely get an entry in the Gold Cup after that run," he added.
"By the time he runs again I imagine the entries will have closed."
Regal Encore finished third whilst Braqueur D'Or took fourth spot.
Colin Tizzard secured Grade Two glory as Elegant Escape won the John Francome Novices' Chase, it was the five-year-old's first win over fences after seeing off Paul Nicholls' consistent Black Corton.
The highly rated Charli Parcs made a creditable record, but Ben Pauling's High Bridge beat him by just over a length.
Dame Rose saw off Cap Soleil in the mares listed race on the card, and has been shortened into 16-1 for the Mares Novice Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Old Guard, Gold Present and Overtown Express also won on the card.