Un Temps Pour Tout put up a determined performance to land the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.
The David Pipe-trained seven-year-old got the better of Holywell, the winner of this race in 2014, after a good battle from three out.
There was little between them turning for home with two to jump, but Un Temps Pour Tout (11-1) pulled away up the hill under Tom Scudamore to win by seven lengths.
The Young Master was nine lengths back in third, with Morning Assembly fourth.
Scudamore said: "We had a dilemma at the beginning of the week which race to go for - we chose the right one.
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"This hasn't been a season to remember by our standards, but the last few weeks we've managed to get it back on track.
"He's a French Champion Hurdle winner, he's got plenty of class. He put the race to bed pretty quickly."
Pipe said: "I thought Tom gave him a great ride as the start was a little bit tricky and the horse has galloped all the way to the line.
"It's fantastic to win on the opening day because, traditionally, my winners come later in the week so my wife will be very happy - especially because it's her birthday. We weren't particularly worried about his lack of experience over fences as Tom felt he was an economical jumper, but it would be crucial to get a nice position.
"The better ground probably helped him - last time it was bottomless and he had top weight.
"He might progress into a Gold Cup horse, but we'll look at Aintree and Punchestown with him and see if we can have some more fun."