Protektorat put in a superb display to land a comfortable win in the Betfair Chase at Haydock.
The horse, part-owned by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and ridden by Harry Skelton for his brother Dan, won by 11 lengths.
Odds-on favourite A Plus Tard, who won last year en route to Cheltenham Gold Cup victory, was never in contention.
The 1-2 chance failed to make an impact and was pulled up before the third last by jockey Rachael Blackmore.
Three-time winner Bristol De Mai set the early pace under Daryl Jacob but once Protektorat challenged as they turned into the home straight, the seven-year-old looked the most dangerous.
Although Eldorado Allen briefly matched him, Skelton quickly got clear on the 15-2 shot and the final three fences were safely negotiated as he extended his lead.
"When you win a race against a horse like A Plus Tard it is special," Ferguson told ITV Racing.
Harry Skelton added: "This is what real good horses can do. He is progressive and getting better.
"We knew today might be our day and it was."Check out the latest horse racing results
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