Top Irish trainer Willie Mullins got a winner on the board at Aintreeas Boston Bob landed the Betfred Melling Chase in the hands of Paul Townend.
Ther Irish raider prevailed from Rolling Aces, with Ballynagour back in third
Boston Bob has always been held in high regard by connections and Townend produced Boston Bob with a beautifully-timed challenge to claim victory
Mullins’ high-class hurdler has had mixed results over fences during couple of seasons, but having run with credit when sixth in the Ryanair Chase at last month’s Cheltenham Festival, he was a 5-1 shot for his Merseyside mission.
Things looked to be happening a little too quickly for the nine-year-old in the early stages of this strongly-run two-and-a-half-mile contest, but Townend bided his time before launching Boston Bob with a challenge in the straight.
His mount responded by showing a tremendoes turn of foot between the second last and the final obstacle, bringing him from seventh place to a narrow lead.
He landed a little flat-footed after jumping the fence, giving a chance to both Rolling Aces and Ballynagour, but Boston Bob came back on the level to beat the former by three and a quarter lengths.
Townend said: “I thought I was in trouble a bit at the third-last, but he pulled out plenty.
“I know he’s had two falls but he’s actually a very good jumper, and he deserved that.”