Tony Bloom's Stratum provided Willie Mullins with his second successive victory in the Emirates Cesarewitch at Newmarket.

Ireland's perennial champion National Hunt trainer saddled the first two home in last year's renewal of the £350,000 contest, with Low Sun getting the better of stable companion Uradel in a thrilling finish.

Stratum struck gold at 25-1 in the hands of Brighton jockey Jason Watson, whose work was hailed as "fantastic" by Mullins.

Disappointing when well-fancied for this race a year ago, the six-year-old has largely failed to fire in valuable handicaps both on the Flat and over hurdles since.

He was a ready winner of a minor event on his most recent Flat start at Killarney, but was turned over as the 1-4 favourite on his latest appearance over hurdles at Listowel.

However, he was back on-song in this fiercely competitive two-and-a-quarter-mile contest, knuckling down in the closing stages to get the better of 50-1 shot Party Playboy - trained by Willie's brother Tony Mullins - by half a length.

"We thought this fellow might do it last year," admitted the winning trainer.

"We brought him back because of the prize-money and he ran well here last year, but he just ran too free. We didn't bring him on the homework he was doing.

"I was disappointed he got beaten the last day over hurdles, but when I looked back at the race the horse still ran a great race. He deserved to come here and I put that race out of my mind and we took our chance in coming and it has paid off.

"It was fantastic to get Jason Watson and he gave him an ice cold ride.

"Every time I looked at him he was taking a pull, which is a great sign, and he delivered him at the right time."