Hewick gave Ireland another successful major run on British soil when it overcame the impressive winner of the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.
Durham National winner at Sedgefield in the fall, Shark Hanlon was charged with returning from a Midlands National holiday in Uttoxeter last month.
But back on a better surface for the traditional seasonal finale, the seven-year-old proved another proposition in the hands of Ireland’s top conditional Jordan Gainford.
Step Back, the race winner four years ago, had a daring sight ahead for most of the three-mile, five-track run under amateur rider Lily Bradstock, but was a weary horse returning home.
When he faltered, Hewick took the lead and was never really in danger of being caught as he galloped up the hill to score comfortably over eight long stretches.
Musical Slave took second place, just ahead of Kitty’s Light 4/1 in third place.
Hanlon said: “He’s a lovely horse. He’s been very unlucky at Uttoxeter and but for the loose horse there, I think he’s going to win.
“He hit the front and that’s his strong point at home.
“He’s been a horse in the summer and he’s just getting started now. We’ll see a lot of him during the year in the UK, although there’s no immediate target.”