Dunwoody, who won on Bishops Island, Royal Piper and Its Nearly Time, is now on 77 for the season, 18 clear of Scudamore. The champion's successes were both for Martin Pipe and may have included a horse with Cheltenham Festival potential in Lord Relic.
The six-year-old, successful seven times on the Flat in his native New Zealand, oozed class in beating the favourite, Mad Thyme, comfortably by three lengths in the novice hurdle.
Being tipped for the top has acted like a noose for Bishops Island since he joined David Nicholson from Ireland, but the gelding may have turned the corner after finally opening his fencing account by 25 lengths in the novices' event.
Two horses have been doubly declared today. Chief Celt is entered in the 1.30 at Uttoxeter and the 3.15 at Nottingham, while Pardon Me Mum is in the Uttoxeter 2.35 and Nottingham 3.15. Both will run at Nottingham only if Uttoxeter is abandoned.