WILTSHIRE-TRAINED Yanworth claimed a narrow victory in a thrilling renewal of the BetBright Dipper Novices' Chase at Cheltenham today.

Alan King's Grade One-winning hurdler had made a fairly inauspicious start to his career over fences, winning despite failing to convince on his debut at Exeter before falling at the same venue.

His jumping was again far from perfect when second behind Willoughby Court at Newbury a month ago, but with Yanworth 5lb better off at the weights, the pair were 15-8 joint-favourites for the rematch.

Both horses travelled strongly for much of the two-mile-five-furlong journey and on this occasion it was Willoughby Court who made the first serious mistake four fences from the finish.

The two market leaders moved up to challenge Sizing Tennessee for the lead on the run to the second-last, but Willoughby Court weakened soon after and it was left for Yanworth to master his other rival.

King's charge was big and bold when he needed to be at the final obstacle and while he gave Sizing Tennessee hope by idling on the run-in, Barry Geraghty's mount passed the post a neck to the good.

Geraghty said: "He jumped better. Alan did a good bit of work with him with Yogi Breisner and I'd say it helped.

"At times he was very good, just at one or two he got in tight. He gave away a lot of ground at the third-last, he was slow, so he's improving.

"It's hard work out there."

Barbury Castle trainer King said: "He's going to be the death of me!

"His jumping was good. Full credit to Wayne (Hutchinson) and Yogi Breisner, who have done a lot of work with him. They've had two good sessions to get him to shorten a little bit and that was very evident as he was very good at it.

"He's gone and winged the last and I thought he was going to go and win by two or three lengths and then he's suddenly pricked his ears. Luckily, when the other horse came to him he went again.

"It's not straightforward, but he was much better. That was a big step in the right direction.

"I think he will have entries in the JLT and the RSA (at Cheltenham in March), but he wants another run.

"I would imagine we will look at something like the Reynoldstown (Ascot, February 17) and there is the Scilly Isles (Sandown, February 3).

"It will be the Reynoldstown if we are going to three-mile route."