Gordon Elliott trains Bondage, who was second at Cheltenham
©Healy Racing Photos
There were many more fancied runners than Mark Bradstock's Coneygree in the Grade Two contest registered as the Hyde Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham, but he held them all at bay from the front.
His half-brother Carruthers relishes testing conditions and the winner seems to be a chip off the old bloke having kept finding and repelling a variety of challenges in the two mile five furlong contest.
Village Vic was well backed throughout the day following his second to The New One on his hurdling bow but the writing was on the wall for supporters of the favourite by two out.
It was left to Tony McCoy and Bondage (trained by Gordon Elliott) to give chase, but they never looked like reeling in Coneygree and Matty Batchelor and were seven lengths adrift at the line with a further five back to According To Trev.
There was an encouraging run from Martin Keighley's Creepy who finished fourth on his hurdling bow in a race that the trainer won with Champion Court back in 2010.
Batchelor said: "He's got a long way to go, but he'd almost give you a better feel than Carruthers. It wasn't a rubbish field - they are all there to be shot at. I jumped the last and he went away again."
Bradstock added: "It was a brave performance to go out there and make the running. He's a completely different stamp of a horse to Carruthers.
"Carruthers is only 16 hands and struggles to carry a big weight, whereas you'd hope this fellow could as he looks a proper chaser.
"You could look at either the two-and-a-half (Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle) or the three-miler (Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle) back here in March."