Willie Mullins rewrote the history books yet again yesterday afternoon as he claimed a sixth Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park and in doing so added a dark horse to the already wide open Gold Cup picture as Djakadam defied top weight in the prestigious handicap under Ruby Walsh.
Mullins, winning the race for a second consecutive year following On His Own last year, who subsequently went on to be narrowly denied in the Gold Cup, confirmed that Djakadam will indeed be targeted at Naitonal Hunt's blue riband race.
Having been the ante-post favourite for the race, Djakadam was sent off the second favourite as money arrived for the Tony Martin-trained Gallant Oscar, but class prevailed in the foggy conditions at the Kilkenny track as Walsh partnered a Thyestes Chase winner for the first time.
After disappointing some observers when apparently failing to get home in the Hennessy at Newbury as a five-year-old before Christmas, Mullins and his team restored the faith and that was duly justified.
Mullins explained: "The dry autumn meant I was afraid to work him and we sent him on an impossible task to Newbury, because he had no work done and no run, but he had the light weight so we had to take a chance.
"It didn't pay off but I gave him time to recover and the Thyestes was the obvious race. Even though it was disappointing at the time, the Hennessy would have stood to him because we learned something that day, the jockey learned and the horse learned and that was all put to good use today."
Reflecting on winning the race for a sixth time and overtaking Tom Dreaper as the most successful trainer in the race, he added: "It's an honour to be mentioned in the same breath as Tom Dreaper.
"Growing up, he was the trainer you aspired to be and he had a fantastic way with chasers.
"I'm just lucky to have the owners that I have to put those type of horses into the yard."
Looking ahead to the Gold Cup, the winning trainer concluded: "He'll probably go to Cheltenham for the Gold Cup and whether he's strong enough this year or not... he's definitely that type of horse.
"What he showed at Cheltenham last year (when falling in the JLT) was immense and I thought if he could build on that and improve than he could be anything."
Mullins completed a treble on the day with possible Triumph Hurdle contender Dicosimo winning the opener and the very exciting Stone Hard taking the concluding bumper.
Despite Gigginstown having a lack of runners in the Cheltenham Bumper in the past, Stone Hard has "got the ticket" to the race, according to Mullins afterwards.