Put The Kettle On remained red hot at Cheltenham as she defied a jumping error three from home to win the Grade 2 Shloer Chase, writes Tom Harle.
The Henry De Bromhead horse made it three wins from three on the Old Course, backing up Arkle Trial and Arkle wins to cement her status as a very top class two-miler.
The six-year-old star, with Aidan Coleman on board, defied clear favourite Defi Du Seuil and reeled in Paul Nicholls’s Duc Des Genievres at the last stride.
“She has got a massive heart, this filly, because she hated the ground and was never happy the whole way,” said Coleman.
“It is a testament to her ability and her attitude. It was a hard race for her.
“She has only run once previous to this since November last year, and she might have been a touch rusty as well, but when I got on top I won well.
“A previous Arkle winner was second and where was everyone else? In another parish. Fair play to her.”
The Queen Mother Champion Chase will now be the target, a race De Bromhead has won before with Sizing Europe and Special Tiara.
And this victory has seen her cut to 8-1 in some places for the Festival big one.
"I think she can be a Champion Chaser - of course she can,” said Coleman.
“Whether that means being competitive or winning only time will tell, but she is value for more today considering the feel I got all the way round.
“She will be there, she will be in the money, but whether she's first or fourth, you don't know, do you, but she is a credit to connections and a delight to have."
There was a landmark win for Emmet Mullins as he became the latest member of his family to win at Cheltenham as The Shunter scored in the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle.
The 14-2 shot caught topweight Ballyandy, who cleared the final flight in front, down the stretch to become the first Irish winner of the race since Sizing Europe in 2007.
Jockey Robbie Power said: “It is great to ride a winner for Emmet, that is all the Mullins’ covered now – I have ridden winners for them all.
“It was fantastic, he told me he was very straightforward.
It was a bumper day of graded action all round with Abacadabras avenging his Down Royal defeat with a gutsy display to win the Grade 1 Unibet Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown.
Gordon Elliott’s Champion Hurdle campaigner clung on to win a photo finish from Grade 1 debutant Saint Roi, for Willie Mullins, and De Bromhead’s Jason The Militant.
It was the six-year-old’s second Grade 1 win having landed the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown Christmas Festival in 2019.
Jockey Jack Kennedy said: “Coming across the bottom he put in a few clumsy jumps again. I got there too soon – way too soon - and he idled out in front but pulled out again though."
Elsewhere, Elliott’s Pencilfulloflead looks a fine chaser and claimed the scalp of Paul Nolan’s Latest Exhibition in the Grade 2 Liam & Valerie Brennan Florida Pearl Novice Chase.
And Gigginstown’s Albert Bartlett third-placer Fury Road fended off Dewcup to return to winning ways in the Grade 2 Unibet 1000th Race Celebration Hurdle.