Knappers Hill ensured the recently crowned champion trainer Paul Nicholls would not go home empty-handed as he quickened up best to win the Grade 2 Select Hurdle at Sandown.
The well-supported Theatre Glory (2/1) was looking to make it a memorable day for Nicky Henderson and set out in front at pedestrian-like fractions. You could throw a blanket over the five runners turning for home and it was the Paul Nicholls-trained Elite Hurdle winner, Knappers Hill (11/2), who showed the brightest turn of foot to score by a diminishing neck from the running on Goshen (7/2).
It wasn't to be for Tom O'Brien on his final ride before retirement as the race was ultimately not run to suit his mount Thyme Hill, who was outpaced over the second last before staying on nicely to grab fourth in the closing stages.
It had been a disappointing day up until then for the now 14-time champion trainer Paul Nicholls with McFabulous, Solo, and Greaneteen all failing to fire.