Guitar Pete came from the clouds in the hands of Paul Carberry to claim top honours in the Injured Jockeys Fund 50th Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree.
On the first day of the Grand National meeting, the 13-2 chance was nearer last than first rounding the home turn and still had plenty of work to do approaching the final flight.
Fellow Irish raider Clarcam looked likely to strike after getting away from the obstacle faster than 7-2 favourite Calipto, but Guitar Pete found top gear on the run-in to pick them both up and was a decisive winner in the end.
Third in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham to Clarcam’s stablemate Tiger Roll, the Dessie Hughes-trained four-year-old passed the post a length and three-quarters clear, with Calipto back in third.
Carberry said: “He made a bit of a mistake down the back at the last, but he stayed on really well.
“I thought I was bit too handy at Cheltenham so this (delayed tactics) was the better option.”
Hughes said with a smile: “He (Carberry) is very good. I said we’d try to get a lead into the straight, but I didn’t mean to be that far back.
“He’s full of heart and is always fresh. He’s a lovely horse.
“We thought he just jumped and stayed, but maybe he has a bit of class as well. Maybe we’ve finally learnt how to ride