On a day where visibility was low at Gowran Park, it was impossible not to see the electric turn of foot shown by Total Recall, who quickened clear of his rivals to win the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase for Willie Mullins, writes Brian Sheerin.
The trainer was enjoying his eighth victory in the contest and his fifth in the last nine years.
A drifter in the market beforehand and eventually sent off at a largely unconsidered 16-1 shot, Total Recall was always up with the pace for the Grade A chase and showed a glittering change of gear to put the race to bed between the third- and second-last fences.
The 11-year-old guessed at the penultimate fence, clipping the birch and pitching rider Danny Mullins up his neck, but he regained his stride and hit the line five and a half lengths clear of 33-1 stablemate Class Conti. Minella Fair was third at 14-1 and Ex Patriot was fourth at 8-1
Danny Mullins said: "This is the big local race and to win any £100,000 handicap is special, but my dad's place is just across the road and I grew up coming to Gowran. To win on their big day is special
"I got a nice run round, I went down late at the start as he can get excited. We were conscious to keep him cool before we jumped off and I missed the kick a little bit
"I let him flow into it and a few good jumps is what you need in these handicaps. He galloped strong until the line. It was an odd mistake two-out but he didn't lose any ground on the back of it.
Total Recall had been largely disappointing since winning the Ladbrokes Trophy in 2017 but proved his class to gain his first win since February 2018.
Paddy Power and Betfair were impressed with Total Recall and gave him an opening show of 25-1 for the Grand National on the back of his victory.
Benie Des Dieux motored home to record a commanding 21-length success over stablemate Penhill under Paul Townend in the Grade 2 Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park, maintaining her flawless record when standing up for trainer Mullins.
Fellow multiple Grade 1-winning mare Apple's Jade dictated the fractions but was picked up by the chasing pack as the race began to unfold and was eventually pulled up by Davy Russell
Killultagh Vic was third to complete a Mullins-trained one-two-three and Gordon Elliott's Death Duty, who returned from a mammoth 758-day absence, travelled well for a long way to make an encouraging comeback in fourth.
Townend was delighted with the evens favourite and said: "She's all class. I was in my comfort zone and probably hit the front a mile too soon. The bit that impressed me was how quickly she put the race to bed when she quickened up."
He added: "Apple's Jade was never getting away from us today like she did at Leopardstown.
Benie Des Dieux was cut to even-money favourite (from 6-4) for the Mares' Hurdle with Paddy Power, with the same firm trimming her Stayers' Hurdle price to 8-1 (from 14).