Greaneteen joined an illustrious list of Paul Nicholls-trained runners to land the Haldon Gold Cup after forming the feature leg of a four-timer for the Ditcheat handler and jockey Harry Cobden at Exeter.
Fourth in the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival in March, the six-year-old made the perfect return as he gave Nicholls a seventh victory in the race he has won with the likes of Azertyuiop, Flagship Uberalles and Politologue.
Racing mid-division for much of the extended two-mile-one-furlong prize, the well-supported 15-8 favourite moved effortlessly into contention before going off in pursuit of long-time leader Moonlighter (10-1) down the home straight.
After making a small mistake at the second-last it looked like the advantage was with Moonlighter, only for the Chris Giles-owned winner to gained a second wind and get up almost on the line and score by a neck. Pink Eyed Pedro (33-1) finished third.
🏆 The Haldon Gold Cup is won by Greaneteen, denying Moonlighter in the closing stages! A great ride from @CobdenHarry. @PFNicholls winning the race for a seventh time. A treble on the day for both jockey and trainer. 🏆 pic.twitter.com/WTGVnwR2Dt— Exeter Racecourse (@ExeterRaces) November 3, 2020
Nicholls said: "Jumping the second-last he made half a mistake and half blew up. Harry said he then filled his lungs and stayed on strongly. I'd say he would improve for the run a bit.
"The great thing was he settled for the first time – last year he was keen in his races. Harry was well impressed. He said he has loads of boot for two miles and jumps well but said he would be better eventually over two and a half.
"Apart from two out, when he needed one, his jumping was good, and he had to dig deep. He got a little bit unlucky in the Grand Annual and that taught him a lot, funnily enough. I think he will keep going forward."
Greaneteen will now be pitched in at Grade One level for the first time in Tingle Creek at Sandown on 5 December.
Nicholls said: "He is going to go up a bit and when you go up to the 160s you are just as well running in graded races than in handicaps to be honest, and I suspect that (Tingle Creek) is where we will go.
"He will have to take another step forwards, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he did."
Nicholls also scored with Enrilo (4-6F), Bravemansgame (8-11F) and Flash Collonges (10-1) over the course of the afternoon.