This Cheltenham was supposed to be about the Champion Chase but it wasn't. It was supposed to be about Rachael Blackmore, but it wasn't. It was supposed to be about Faugheen and Altior, but it wasn't about them either. It was about Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott and Paul Townend and Barry Geraghty. Mostly anyway.
Willie Mullins was the star of the show on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival as back-to-back Gold Cup victories for Al Boum Photo helped the Closutton maestro walk away as leading trainer following a remarkable comeback.
Nothing could better illustrate the popularity of the Cheltenham Festival than the third-day attendance figure of 65,218 - only 2,603 down on last year, when there was no pandemic and the news cycle was not crammed with shut-downs and emergency measures.
Min may have left Willie Mullins smiling when finally removing the tag of Cheltenham Festival bridesmaid with a dramatic Ryanair Chase success but old foe Gordon Elliott was the merciless one on day three at the Cotswolds with a 549/1 treble.
Round three of the annual punters versus bookmakers match-up at Cheltenham saw the scales tilted towards the layers for the second day running with one of the showcase races resulting in a nightmare for backers.
Four days ago it looked as if yesterday's Betway Champion Chase, won emphatically by the 6/1 shot Politologue, would be the race of this year's Festival: Altior set to defend his title against the young pretenders Chacun Pour Soi and Defi Du Seuil.
Showing 1 - 30 of 1991 results