TALENTED dual-purpose performer Who Dares Wins added a victory over fences to his name with a battling success in the Betway Pendil Novices Chase on Saturday.

Last year’s Northumberland Plate hero had finished second on his two previous starts over fences, suffering an odds-on defeat at Plumpton last time out.

However, the eight-year-old left that effort behind when getting the better off Southfield Stone by three-quarters of a length, to take the Grade Two prize at odds of 10-1.

Barbury-based winning trainer Alan King said: “He is a very good horse. He is a marvellous animal and has taken us everywhere - Ascot, Cheltenham and Liverpool, the Northumberland Plate.

“It just all went horribly wrong at Plumpton the other day.

“He walked through the ditch, then he nearly got brought down. He is a soft ground horse on the flat, but I don’t think he wants Plumpton heavy.

“We have waited and there are not many options, so we have had to come here today. Thank goodness they have had a dry couple of days.

“The plan was to probably not get to the front too soon, but when Paul’s horse (Master Tommytucker) fell four out, we nearly got brought down and we had to commit then, but he has battled on well.”

Although Who Dares Wins holds three entries at Cheltenham, King is unsure which direction he will go.

He added: “I want to go home and think about it, but I wouldn’t be afraid of going three miles with him.”

Elsewhere at the weekend, Nicky Henderson’s William Henry secured the biggest success of his career as he stayed on from a highly improbable position to surge home in the Stella Artois National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell.

The Lambourn trained 10-year-old gained his first victory since landing the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival last March - powering up the run-in, after appearing outpaced and booked for third at best.

William Henry looked as if his chance had all but gone mid-way through the two-mile-three Grade Two feature, but the 5-1 shot found a second wind under Nico de Boinville.

As Quel Destin and Thomas Darby traded blows up front, William Henry gathered unexpected momentum from the back of the last before passing both on the climb to the line to score by a length and a half.

De Boinville said: “I thought we were beat after the first hurdle, because I didn’t think he was enjoying that really heavy ground. Then I just thought we will have to settle down, and sit and suffer and settle for third if we can.

“He has turned in off the all-weather (bend into the straight) and he has seemed to pick up. We had bit of full steam and came with a wet sail. I think the others slightly stopped in front - and we have kept going.”