Cause Of Causes (right) seen here winning at Fairyhouse
©Healy Racing Photos
Irish raider Cause Of Causes ultimately ran out a ready winner of an ultra-competitive renewal of The Ladbroke at Ascot.
Gordon Elliott's four year old had caught the eye finishing strongly in a similarly competitive handicap at Cheltenham last time - which had featured a number of today's rivals - and he came home with another late rattle to lift this valuable prize.
Double Ross set out to try and make all and helped to make this a thorough test and there were few of the 21 strong field still in contention turning for home.
Momentarily it appeared as though the resurgent nine year old Petit Robin was going to record a famous victory for Nicky Henderson and his young rider Nico De Boinville.
No sooner did it seem they had victory in their grasp though, it was snatched from them as Davy Condon produced his mount with a telling challenge at the last and the pair fairly sprinted clear to score by four lengths.
Double Ross kept on well enough to fill fourth place with Dan Breen, another to have raced prominently, in third with the first three home all returning at odds of 25/1.
Elliott said: "We were worried about the ground but we thought he had a right chance if he did handle it.
"We brought him over a couple of days earlier as he's not a great traveller. The lads have worked with him at home and everyone has done a great job with him.
"We're not bothered what the handicapper does now as this was a good pot. He's a gentleman of a horse to deal with and it's nice to win a high-profile race.
"He could maybe go for the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and could even be a horse for something like the Ebor in the summer."
Condon said: "He wouldn't be in love with that ground but he had to go through it like the rest of them. He's so genuine and when I pulled out wide up the straight he flew.
"I was struggling turning in but when I pulled him out he took off. I thought at the second-last I would win.
"He deserved a big one. He's been second in a Galway Hurdle and third in the Greatwood."