Clan Des Obeaux made it third time lucky in the Betway Bowl Chase at Aintree with a superb performance.

It was also a red-letter day for Alex Ferguson and his fellow owners, after the same colours were earlier carried to victory in the two previous Grade Ones by Protektorat and Monmiral.

The Paul Nicholls-trained nine-year-old was third in this race in 2018 and second in 2019. He finally got his just reward in some style to give Nicholls and jockey Harry Cobden a double after Monmiral.

Mister Fisher made the running to the 12th fence, where he unseated Nico de Boinville after making a bad mistake.

Clan Des Obeaux soon led after that and stretched the opposition. Clondaw Castle was the only horse able to lay down a challenge, but he could not live with the 5-2 favourite, who drew well clear to win by 26 lengths. Clondaw Castle was 18 lengths ahead of Native River.

Dual Grand National hero Tiger Roll was fourth, a further 48 lengths away as the field finished well strung out.

Nicholls said: "When he's been here before he’s had two hard races in the Gold Cup so the best thing we did was not take him there (Cheltenham), it makes such a big difference as it’s hard to do both.

"Perhaps he was disappointing at Newbury, but he did give 6lb to a good horse. It woke us up though as we realised we were probably getting the tactics wrong. We know to be positive on him now.

"Obviously next season the King George will be his number one aim, then back here and I’d like to go for the Denman again. If the ground is decent the Betfair at Haydock is a nice race for him – as is the Charlie Hall."

He added: "He’s actually in the Bet365 Chase at Sandown and he doesn’t get a penalty, so that could be interesting. I’ve always thought that race would suit him. We didn’t put him in at Punchestown, but I did say if we could win this we could always supplement."

Owned by Gigginstown House Stud, Tiger Roll was withdrawn from the National and the chance to join Red Rum as a three-time winner, as connections were unhappy with his handicap mark.

Cousin Pascal (66-1) provided a shock in the Rose Paterson Randox 'Foxhunters' Open Hunters’ Chase.

James King – winning the race for the second time – steered the Joe O’Shea-trained outsider to a surprise result over the Grand National fences, as amateur riders were welcomed back to one of their big races of the year after the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

There was drama at the first fence when Kashmir Peak and Dashing Perk fell, while Risk And Roll was another casualty in the early stages.

Cousin Pascal was always close to the pace with Golden Tobouggan, Some Man and Cat Tiger up with the leaders.

There were many in with chances as they crossed the Melling Road with two fences to jump.

Latenightpass held a narrow lead but Cousin Pascal had the far rail to help and crossed the line two and a half lengths to the good over that rival.

Cat Tiger was three and a quarter lengths back in third and a nose ahead of Clondaw Westie in fourth.

King said: "Obviously it was very disappointing to miss Cheltenham (due to ban on amateur riders), it was great that we can get back here and get racing. I didn’t appreciate the first time I won the race, but I’ll definitely appreciate it now."

Cheshire-based O’Shea said: "When he came into the straight, I knew there was only one winner from there. We’ve had him now for about four months and he’s never stopped improving from the minute he came into my stable, everytime I throw something at him, he’s at it.

"We were rag and bone merchants, 24 horses every morning, we used to have to muck out and feed before we went to school. I’ve always loved the thoroughbred but we were brought up with the coloured cobs.

"I backed him to win £16,000, just in case. Every time I backed him he went out, so I just kept backing him. I thought ‘if he wins, someone’s going to have to pay for the beer’. I personally drink milk, but for everyone else, champagne will be on me all night."

Editeur Du Gite (9-1) ran his rivals into the ground with a bold front-running performance to win the Close Brothers Red Rum Handicap Chase.

Gary Moore’s seven-year-old, ridden by his son Josh, put in good round of jumping apart from the last, where he he was slow, but he recovered and galloped all the way to the line.

Sully D’Oc Aa and Dostal Phil, both owned by JP McManus, tried to close but the post came in time for the  winner, who was wearing the colours of 2014 Queen Mother Champion Chase hero Sire De Grugy.

The winning rider said: "We’ve had to be patient with him, but it’s starting to pay off now.

"Last season ended early and we never got to run him much, so this season he was quite inexperienced when we started off and didn’t really see out his races that strongly. He’s starting to do that a lot better now.

"His strong point is his jumping, but he is a fast horse. You could work him with any Flat horse at home and you’d feel disappointed about them, but that said, his jumping gives him a breather and helps him through a race.

"He certainly gets horses under pressure in the middle of the race and I think this better ground helps massively.

"He’s got to progress again, but the way he jumps and travels will suit in a higher grade, so hopefully he might end up there."

Monmiral (10-11F) maintained his unbeaten record over jumps with a convincing victory in the Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle.

The Paul Nicholls-trained gelding oozed class in the hands of Harry Cobden and proved connections right for bypassing the Cheltenham Festival.

Monmiral was always travelling sweetly in third place behind Fiveandtwenty and Paros in the early stages, until he took closer order from three out.

Main market rival Adagio made his move, but a mistake at the final flight cost the Triumph Hurdle runner-up any chance he had and Monmiral scooted away to score by seven an a half lengths.

Protektorat (17-2) gave title-chasing jockey Harry Skelton a flying start to the three-day meeting by winning the Grade One SSS Super Alloys Manifesto Novices' Chase.

Skelton delivered the six-year-old, trained by his brother Dan, with a well-timed challenge to lead on the run-in and land the spoils from The Shunter – with Hitman a close third.

Hitman was always prominent, with Fusil Raffles making the running until he was pulled up after making a bad mistake down the far side.