Nicky Henderson was crowned champion jumps trainer for a fourth time after an epic battle with his old adversary Paul Nicholls came to a conclusion as the curtain came down on the season at Sandown.
It had been a match between the two heavyweights of the National Hunt scene for some time, but Henderson had enough in hand to end another Nicholls surge.
Arkle hero Altior helped put the seal on the title in winning the bet365 Celebration Chase, beating Special Tiara by eight lengths in the hands of Nico de Boinville as the 30-100 favourite.
Henderson said: "What a great horse to do it with. He's very special.
"It's a tough game and, to be fair, we have been consistent over the last few years and we've been second to Paul four or five times.
"I don't think I'm coming to the end of it, I will keep going as long as everybody wants me to.
"When you enter a competition, you want to win races and if that means you're going to finish at the top of the pile, so be it.
"It is a championship and it's there to be fought for. There are no prizes for finishing second."
Henderson had spoilt a long Nicholls' streak when successful in the 2012-13 campaign, after the Ditcheat handler had been in charge since 2005-6.
Now Henderson has done it again and it still seems incredible he had been in the wilderness as far as the title was concerned after coming out on top two seasons running in 1985-86 and 1986-87.
Next year will be the 40th that Henderson, 66, has held a licence.
However, it has not all been plain-sailing for the master of Seven Barrows.
A real low point came in November, when the same day as he had to call time on the fabulous career of champion two-miler Sprinter Sacre, the brilliant but fragile Simonsig was killed in action at Cheltenham.
Henderson was left reeling but, in typical fashion, he was able to call upon the next generation of superstars.
In Altior, Buveur D'Air and Might Bite, to name just three, he has horses who could dominate the sport for several years if they can stay sound and healthy.
Altior has looked the natural successor to Sprinter Sacre in the two-mile division, while Henderson's brilliance as a trainer is no better illustrated than by Buveur D'Air, who was switched from novice chasing halfway through the campaign back to hurdling and went on to win the Champion Hurdle.
"I just felt he had unfinished business" was Henderson's gut feeling on Buveur D'Air, and how right he was.
Might Bite, who has as much eccentricity as he has talent, has continued to test Henderson's skills, and has the ability to be a serious contender for the Cheltenham Gold Cup after being the king of the staying novices.
Henderson said: "We took a bitter pill early on in the season when Sprinter had to retire as you always felt he could win the Tingle Creek, the Champion Chase and all sorts of things and be a flag-bearer. Once he was out, Simonsig got killed which was horrible.
"You think, 'Let's have a good year', but you never dream it would finish up like this.
"We've got some good novice chasers. We always knew Altior was a very good horse, Might Bite is interesting and exciting. We've also got Top Notch and Whisper - all good old soldiers."
Henderson admitted he was relieved the season was finally over.
He said: "I've sorted of enjoyed it but I feel better now.
"We've got some Grade One horses and, to be fair to Paul, he has done incredibly well as he has not got the Grade One horses but he is winning a huge amount of prize-money with some very good placing.
"When you've got Altiors and Buveur D'Airs of this world, you've got a serious chance of winning big prize-money and even My Tent (Or Yours) - look what he wins for you in a year.
"The boys at home have been brilliant. It's been a long winter of serious dedication by everyone on the team and the owners. I have a brilliant bunch of owners that are friends and we try and have a fair bit of fun on the way.
"It's a good old mob and I think there will be a good old party. It's been fun. I am as up for it as I have ever been."
Nicholls was gracious in defeat after he was denied an 11th title.
The Ditcheat handler said: "We have had an amazing number of winners and amazing number of prize-money so it is onwards and upwards.
"It was always going to go down to the wire as we were going to keep churning out winners. We could have done with one or two Grade One winners at Cheltenham and another at Aintree which would have helped.
"If we do what we did this year every year we would be happy.
"It is almost good for the sport that it goes down to the last day. It keeps everyone interested. There was only going to be one result, unless we had a complete miracle.
"It will be harder next season, I think, as Nicky has got an awesome team next year. I've not got a King George or Tingle Creek horse. It will be harder, but we will still be banging in the winners.
"We have got some real smart novice chasers coming through again next season and they are all the future. In a few years' time, it will turn round."