L’Eau Du Sud, the choice of Harry Skelton from his brother’s three runners despite being pulled up behind Iberico Lord in the Greatwood when last seen, jumped the last in front before being collared by Iberico Lord.
The JP McManus-owned winner benefited from a superb ride down the inside by Nico de Boinville, who helped the six-year-old make amends for his disappointing run at Ascot in December.
Iberico Lord was seventh of nine when sent off the 11-4 favourite to follow up his Greatwood success, but he bounced back to form off the same mark of 134 to complete a valuable double for De Boinville and Nicky Henderson after Shishkin’s success in the Denman Chase earlier on the card.
Iberico Lord’s lacklustre performance at Ascot came on good ground and the return to more testing conditions helped him land Britain’s richest handicap over jumps according to his rider.
“I’d say the ground just went against him last time but we made amends for it today,” De Boinville told ITV Racing. "He’s seen it out really well on this ground, which is really hard work.”
Iberico Lord was cut to 8-1 (from 12) for next month’s County Hurdle by Betfair.
Ocastle Des Mottes, sent off the 7-2 favourite, could manage only eighth on his first start for Willie Mullins. The Simon Munir and Isaac Souede-owned recruit had to be reshod on his near fore at the start which caused an eight-minute delay and asked if that had an impact, his rider Daryl Jacob said: "It wasn't ideal but he handled it well enough.
"He travelled well to three out but then flattened out after two out. That was his first run out of France, though, and it was in a very competitive handicap. He will adapt to our style of racing and hopefully be a very nice horse."