Overturn was a 7/1 chance to repeat his 2011 victory in the Chester Cup and ultimately found only one too good in the shape of his lesser-fancied stablemate Il De Re, who scored on his first run for trainer Donald McCain.
Both horses are more regularly seen over hurdles, with Overturn having made his previous start in the Champion Hurdle when finishing runner-up to Rock On Ruby, while the winner was last seen finishing down the field in the Imperial Cup after back-to-back wins at Huntingdon and Sandown in January and February.
With torrential rain across the country continuing to play havoc with race meetings, Overturn, now eight, made the most of the flag start to the Chester Cup – called when the tractor pulling the starting stalls were stuck in the mud – to charge to the lead and settle into his habitual front-running role. He held that position for most of the race, setting a solid pace in testing conditions and only finally being overhauled with a furlong to run by Il De Re, a six-year-old son of Linamix who relished the soft going and was given a rail-hugging ride by former jump jockey Jim Crowley.
Listed-placed and a multiple winner on the Flat in France when trained by Freddy Head, Il De Re made his hurdling debut for Ian Williams in December, finishing third at Aintree to another McCain runner, subsequent Cheltenham Festival winner Cinders And Ashes. McCain was quick to pay tribute to Williams, who sent out the 2008 Chester Cup winner Bulwark, also ridden by Crowley.