Paul Nicholls's Sanctuaire was tipped to rival Nicky Henderson's exciting two-miler but faded badly on the final stretch to bring his run of three wins from as many starts to an end.
Sprinter Sacre, ridden by Barry Geraghty, was 10 lengths behind Ruby Walsh on Sanctuaire at one point but gradually ate away the gap then eased clear at the end with Kumbeshwar a comfortable second.
The six-year-old dominated the John Smith's Maghull Novices' Chase at Aintree in April.
"He has got the 'wow' factor. It's been a long time since Aintree and I admit to having been petrified about Sanctuaire," said Henderson.
"I knew that horse had got pace and would put it into the race which would stretch anybody and it was as soft as our fellow would ever want to go on.
"He's just class isn't he? I knew that I had something a bit special and I just wanted it to stay that way.
"That's as good a two-mile chaser as you'll ever see. He will probably go for the Victor Chandler and Cheltenham, I don't know for sure, but there aren't that many options and then on to Aintree or Punchestown."
Geraghty said Sprinter Sacre was a match for Moscow Flyer, who he rode to 10 Grade One chase wins.
"He's the closest I have ridden to Moscow. Time will tell (if he will be as good) but he's going the right way," he said.
"He's the most natural I have ever ridden and so far, so good."
Sprinter Sacre has a perfect six-from-six record in a novice chasing season which included a seven-length Arkle victory over Cue Card.
- Sports & Recreation
- Nicky Henderson
- Barry Geraghty