Long Run got up in the final strides to collar Captain Chris and regain his crown in the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton.
Captain Chris looked like going two better places than last year when he came through to head the winner of two years ago, who was also the runner-up 12 months ago.
However, Long Run, the 15-8 favourite trained by Nicky Henderson, rallied for amateur Sam Waley-Cohen, to get back up and score by a neck.
Meanwhile, Darlan laid down his marker for top honours with an emphatic win in the williamhill.com Christmas Hurdle.
The five-year-old was promoted to 7-2 favourite from 8-1 for the Stan James Champion Hurdle.
Darlan (3-1) scored by four and a half lengths. Norton trainer John Quinn’s favourite Countrywide Flame (6-4) was only fourth.