Recent champion trainer Paul Nicholls celebrated a Punchestown Festival victory as duel King George victor Clan Des Obeaux secured a fourth Grade 1 victory in County Kildare on Wednesday.
The Betway Bowl winner was supplemented for a tilt across the Irish Sea following his Merseyside demolition earlier this month, now partnered by Sam Twiston-Davies following an injury suffered by usual Ditcheat pilot Harry Cobden.
While perhaps not as big a surprise as Colreevy’s opening-day success when the mare defeated novice stars Envoi Allen and Monkfish, the son of Kapgarde still had two-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo and recent Melling Chase successor Fakir D’oudairies standing in his way.
Willie Mullins did, however, claim a Grade 1 on the card as Martin Pipe hero Gallopin Des Champs took the step up in both class and trip in his stride.
The Timos five-year-old put in a strong claim to be a force to be reckoned with next season under Paul Townend, and was the first of a hat-trick of winners for the yard on the second day of the Festival.
Kilcruit overturned the Champion Bumper form with Sir Gerhard, while Grangee took the Mares Bumper under Patrick Mullins.
Mouse Morris claimed a win with Foxy Jacks, while Jessica Harrington’s Guiri and Peter Fahey’s Surprise Package claimed the two openers, respectively.