But the horse's moment of glory was quickly overshadowed during the second race as Gottany O's stumbled and broke down while leading the race.
The horse had to be destroyed, yet another death in the sport that has recently witnessed high profile tragedies at Cheltenham and in Dubai.
Grumeti reversed Triumph Hurdle form with Countrywide Flame to land that race, the Matalan Anniversary Juvenile Hurdle.
Earlier, Big Buck's won the extended three-mile event that opens the three-day John Smith's Grand National meeting for the fourth consecutive year, in the process smashing one of the oldest records in the sport by making it 17 wins in a row.
The nine-year-old surpasses Sir Ken, the triple Champion Hurdler of the 1950s, whose 16-win run was hitherto the longest winning streak in British jump racing. In the process of collecting those wins Big Buck's has seen off 127 rival horses.
The nine-year-old - a 2/9 favourite ridden by Ruby Walsh - finished nine lengths clear of Crack Away Jack.
The Paul Nicholls-trained gelding made Cheltenham history last month when lifting the Ladbrokes World Hurdle for a fourth time and repeated that feat in the Grade One race on Merseyside.
Outsider Follow The Plan sprung a shock to win the feature contest on the first day, the Betfred Bowl.
The 50/1 chance took the lead just before the last and romped home to win by three lengths from Burton Port with Tony McCoy in the saddle.
Favourite Riverside Theatre, who won the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham, was pulled up on the second circuit.