The contest is usually the finale of the British Flat season on the turf at Doncaster, but flooding forced the fixture on to Newcastle’s synthetic surface instead.
The move inspired Malton-based Ellison to enter his five-year-old in the race and veto an intended run in a Sedgefield novices’ hurdle.
The decision proved a wise one as Onesmoothoperator, who had raced in midfield under Ben Robinson, snuck through on the inside rail in the final furlong.
From there he locked horns with Charlie Johnston’s Struth but came out on top to succeed at odds of 15-2 by a neck.
Ellison said “We weren’t even going to run him in it until it got switched to here, we were going to take him to Sedgefield for a novice hurdle!
“We bought him to go hurdling. This has been a lucky race for me, I’ve won it three times now.
“He likes it here, though, he needs them to go a strong gallop and he got a brilliant ride. He made his move around the top bend and you know you have to be up the rail.
“I think the horse has deserved a big one because he’s a funny one, you have to ride him for luck. Luckily enough today they got racing early and it all worked out.
“More than likely we’ll still go hurdling but he must have good ground. He’s an absolutely brilliant jumper.
“We’ve run him once over hurdles but they absolutely walked round and that was no good to him, he finished second. We might give him a pop just for a change. We’ll see what’s around.”
Jockey Graham Lee is in intensive care after suffering a neck injury in a fall at Newcastle on Friday evening.
The Bedale-based rider was taken to hospital after being unseated from his mount Ben Macdui as the stalls opened for BetUK. Home Of The Acca-Fenwa Handicap.
A statement from the Injured Jockeys Fund said: “Graham was taken by ambulance to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, where he is in intensive care with a neck injury.
“He will undergo further tests today to assess the extent of the injury.”
Lee has ridden under both codes during his lengthy career, with Amberleigh House propelling him onto the front pages in 2004 after the pair won the Grand National for legendary trainer Ginger McCain.
The rider also enjoyed a successful partnership with staying hurdler Inglis Drever, counting the 2005 World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival among their seven victories together, while the Ferdy Murphy-trained pair of Another Promise and Kalahari King were also Grade One scorers.
Lee switched his attentions to the Flat in 2012, also striking Group One gold with Trip To Paris in the 2015 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and Alpha Delphini in the 2018 Nunthorpe.
He had his best season on the Flat in 2014 when he rode 159 winners, with 47 victories on the board this campaign.
Jim Goldie has employed Lee’s services over jumps and on the Flat and was thinking of the rider and his family.
He said: “I’ve been there. My dad fractured his skull when I was 14, so I know what it’s like. We have to be hopeful. The one thing is racing will look after him.”
Dale Gibson, interim chief executive of the Professional Jockeys Association, was at Newcastle and said: “Any time a jockey gets injured, there’s always a real sense of community and group feeling and that’s very much the case now.
“Graham is hugely popular and what he’s achieved in the sport is incredible.
“The PJA and the weighing room very much want to send our best wishes to Graham and his family.
“The IJF are always the lead on communications, that’s the way it works for an injured jockey, and we are all keeping our fingers crossed.
“It’s not easy for jockeys going out and riding today, especially those who were here last night, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m here, to offer support – having ridden for 24 years, I know what it’s like. They’re a very close-knit community.”