POPULAR staying chaser Carruthers ran his best race since winning the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury in November, 2011 when making a gallant attempt to defy top weight in Warwick's Betfred Classic Chase which was worth £34,000 to the winner.

Having his first race for a year, the 11-year-old gelding, who is owned by a partnership including Lady Oaksey and Alan Waller from Ashton Keynes, went down by six lengths to the promising Cheltenham Festival candidate for the RSA Chase Shotgun Paddy.

Trained by Mark Bradstock and ridden by his now-regular partner Nico de Boinville, the veteran chaser jumped for fun and ran a super comeback race.

Carruthers' two wins since the Hennessy have come at Ffos Las and a return to Wales is on his agenda.

Waller said: "That was a prep race for the West Wales Grand National at Ffos Las in February, followed by a shot at the Bet 365 Gold Cup at Sandown on the last day of the season in April.

"But we will now have to see what the handicapper does to our old hero after such a good run."