Exeter Chiefs (6) 16
Try: SestaretCons: Gray Pens: Steenson 3
Bristol (10) 25
Tries: Blaney, Arscott, Winters, Phillips Cons: Jarvis Pens: Jarvis
Bristol overtook Exeter Chiefs at the top of the Championship table thanks to Sunday's hard-fought win over their main promotion rivals at Sandy Park.
Bristol outscored their hosts by four tries to one, with David Blaney, Luke Arscott, Roy Winters and James Phillips all crossing the line.
The Chiefs did stage a late fightback, Nic Sestaret going over for a try in the last 10 minutes.
But it did not stop Bristol going four points clear of Exeter at the top.
Exeter had started the game promisingly, dominating possession and territory for the first 20 minutes.
A Gareth Steenson penalty gave the Chiefs an early lead, although it was duly cancelled out with three points from the boot of Adrian Jarvis.
There's seven games remaining and we're going to push through and try and get that top spot back
Paul McKenzie, Exeter Chiefs
Steenson edged Exeter back in front shortly afterwards, but Bristol found their form, Blaney's try giving the visitors the lead for the first time in the match.
At half-time Bristol still held a slender 10-6 advantage.
But any hopes of an Exeter comeback in the second period diminished when Arscott and Winters touched down for the visitors in quick succession.
A fourth try for Bristol through Phillips ensured they gained revenge for their 35-26 defeat by Exeter at the Memorial Stadium back in October, as well as adding a crucial bonus point.
Exeter centre Paul McKenzie told BBC Radio Devon:
"I don't think it'll hinder us too much. We've beaten Bristol once and now they've beaten us once.
"There's seven games remaining and we're going to push through and try and get that top spot back.
"When it comes to the end of the season, what's gone before doesn't really come into it."
Bristol coach Paul Hull told BBC Radio Bristol:
"I'm really pleased. We targeted these last four games of 2009 to finish on a high and we've done that.
"We had to defend stoutly at times and we did that and when we had the opportunity we were very clinical.
"We'll enjoy the victory but we've got to make sure we work hard next week and we might have a few fresh faces in the starting line-up."