Tony McCoy claimed his first win of the 2014 Cheltenham Festival as he partnered Taquin Du Seuil to victory in the JLT Novices' Chase, the opening event on the third day of the meeting.

The 7-1 shot was noted moving into contention at the top of the hill and he swooped after the last to deny game front-runner Uxizandre, owned by JP McManus.

Double Ross made it a thrilling three-way duel but had to settle for minor honours in a tight finish.

McCoy said: "I'm a bit gutted I beat my boss (McManus), but obviously delighted for Jonjo.

"I always had great faith in this horse.

"He stays well and is quite cute, he saves a little bit for himself.

"I'm delighted for Jonjo. He's a great fellow to work for."

There was drama at the very first fence, with both the well-fancied Oscar Whisky and Mozoltov crashing out.

Robert Thornton quickly assumed control on Uxizandre and while McCoy never appeared to be travelling that well on Taquin Du Seuil he quietly worked his way into contention.

As the pace turned up again, Djakadam came to grief, appearing to impede Wonderful Charm and favourite Felix Yonger in the process.

Up front the first three home had already kicked clear, with Taquin Du Seuil and the masterful McCoy winning by three-quarters of a length with Double Ross a length and a quarter back in third.

Winning trainer Jonjo O'Neill said: "We've always believed in him since we've had him. It's been frustrating a little bit this season because the races haven't been run at any pace.

"Today they went a good gallop which suited him.

"I need to thank JP for letting Tony off to ride him for us and his horse ran a blinder, but we needed all of AP today.

"I was worried about the ground but they put a bit of water on last night.

"He's got a long stride, but AP knows him well and if he'd asked him for a couple of big leaps he'd have landed on top of them, he was clever as they were going a fair gallop.

"It should ease the pain in AP's back (after a fall on Wednesday).

"We believe he's got a lot of speed and we did try him over two miles. Hopefully he'll step up to the Gold Cup trip now - you've got nothing if you haven't got dreams in this game."