The Big Breakaway met with a shock defeat in the Download The tote Placepot App Novices’ Chase at Exeter as he had no answer to Bold Plan.
Colin Tizzard’s The Big Breakaway was the prohibitive 2-9 favourite having made a seamless transition to chasing at Cheltenham first time out this season.
Sent to Exeter for more experience before stepping up in class, with the bonus of picking up the best part of £20,000 into the bargain, Robbie Power was having to drive him into several early fences.
Lethargic at times, Sean Bowen was able to stealthily stalk the favourite on Bold Plan – winner of a good prize over hurdles at Haydock just over a year ago – and he always looked likely to have too much pace in the straight.
When The Big Breakaway got in tight to the last, Bold Plan jumped into an advantage and had no trouble in running out a length and a half winner to break a rather lean spell for his trainer Evan Williams.
Betfair eased The Big Breakaway out to 14-1 from 8s for the three-mile novice chase at Cheltenham, while the winner was introduced into the betting for the Marsh Chase at 33-1 by Paddy Power.
Williams – who quickly followed up with a Grade Two strike at Sandown courtesy of the impressive Star Gate – said of the winner: “We were taking on the second horse on our terms really as I don’t think he’s a two-and-a-half-miler.
“Strictly speaking it was a muddle of a race, but our little fella does have a good turn of foot while the second horse is more of a galloper.
“I don’t really see him as a graded horse, but in saying that he did win a very good handicap at Haydock over hurdles.
“I think with our horse he’s very good on his day, but his days are very in and out is what I’ll say. When he’s good, he’s very good.”