Quentin Collonges outbattled Same Difference in a thrilling finish to lift the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown...
Andrew Tinkler was always prominent aboard the Henry Daly-trained winner, with the 17.016/1 shot tracking early leaders Becauseicouldntsee and Galaxy Rock.
That pair had built up a seven-length advantage with a circuit to run in the Grade Three heat but their early efforts eventually told and they were lining up in behind.
With three fences to jump, there were a handful of horses, including favourite Away We Go, travelling well and poised to challenge.
However, the market leader lost all chance when crashing through the second-last fence while Muirhead also appeared to make a costly mistake.
That left Quentin Collonges and Same Difference to slug it out, with Sam Twiston-Davies looking pretty confident on the latter.
They took the last together and Same Difference edged ahead, only for Tinkler to ask his mount for one last push which proved decisive as he pulled two lengths clear at the line.
Away We Go was a further 13 lengths back in third with Muirhead in fourth.
Daly said: "We were going to go to Scotland (for the Scottish National) but the ground was so heavy (earlier in the week), so we came here instead.
"He's not big enough to jump the fences when it's soft so he's had a light campaign.
"Briery Fox led over the last here and got beat (in 2009) so it's a very nice end of season race to win.
"I'd imagine he'll go for good staying chases next year, but he's so small that the National fences would seem very big for him, it's something we'll have to think about."
Tinkler said: "It's great that on a day Nicky Henderson is crowned champion trainer, another of the trainers I ride for has won a big race.
"He stays so well but it's his attitude that helps him to stay, he's so tough."
Nigel Twiston-Davies said of the runner up: "I thought we were going to win but we were giving 9 lb away to an improving horse."