Nicky Henderson's Altior recorded his 18th victory on the bounce over obstacles, as the Seven Barrows superstar dug deep to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase on day two of the Cheltenham Festival.
But as ever, Altior relished the Cheltenham hill, seeing off Sceau Royal first and then repelling the late challenge of Politologue to oblige at odds of 4-11. "He's a phenomenal athlete - he doesn't know how to lose".
"I think he was getting a little lonely but as soon as Nico said go he was off".
Tiger Roll was promoted to 6-1 favourite for a second successive win in the Grand National after storming to a fourth Festival win in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase on Wednesday.
Elliott, who had endured a frustrating Festival until Tiger Roll, doubled up when 2-1 favourite Envoi Allen landed the Weatherbys Festival Bumper under Jamie Codd. "Horses haven't been running up to par, a few of them haven't been good enough and things haven't been working", he said.
Gordon Elliott's nine-year-old is now as low as 6/1 favourite to become the first dual National victor since Red Rum.
All three contenders are sure to be challengers in next season's Cheltenham Gold Cup, but it was Topofthegame that produced a monster leap at the last fence and under a power-packed ride from Harry Cobden soared to a gallant win in a classic.