Energumene defended his Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase crown in imperious style at Cheltenham - routing the opposition to become the first back-to-back winner of the day two feature since Altior in 20018 and 2019.
Only third in the Clarence House Chase behind reopposing pair Editeur Du Gite and Edwardstone, he arrived at the Festival with a point to prove.
Backed into 6-5 favourite as the rain continued to pour throughout the afternoon, his supporters would have had barely a moment of worry as he produced a performance of real dominance to light up a gloomy second day.
In a change of tactics, Energumene was ridden forwards by Paul Townend - keen to keep tabs on Niall Houlihan on the front-running Editeur Du Gite.
Travelling with real zest, Townend was an image of supreme confidence after four out at the same point Rachael Blackmore aboard Captain Guinness and Edwardstone were beginning to appear in Energumene's wing mirrors.
However, the writing was on the wall for the nine-year-old's rivals from the moment Energumene poked his nose in front at the third-last and with Editeur Du Gite and Edwardstone soon beaten off, it was left to Captain Guinness to chase home Energumene in vain as Townend asked his mount to stretch clear.
Owned by Brighton & Hove Albion supremo Tony Bloom, Energumene returned a 10-length winning verdict back to Captain Guinness in second and having given Willie Mullins a first Champion Chase success 12 months ago, he took the master of Closutton's overall Cheltenham tally to 92 Festival winners.
Mullins admitted there was plenty of confidence in the camp beforehand that his charge would reverse the Clarence House form.
He said: "Paul had a very positive frame of mind going out. He said he was going to jump off up there, he thought everyone was going to be very tight and he wanted to be away fast. That's the way the race worked out and he had it right.
"The horse just loved the ground and loved jumping. He was brilliant on the day and Paul was brilliant on him.
"I was way more confident this year than last year because we hadn't Shishkin to take on and with any improvement from the Clarence House, it was hopefully a case of getting a clear round.
"Paul came home from the Clarence House and he said 'they won't beat us again' and the horse's work and jumping and everything for the last three weeks has been brilliant, so we just had our fingers crossed for a clear round.
"I was hoping to win, but the way he did it was something else. Hopefully he can hold that sort of form for next year."
Following his Clarence House reverse, Mullins suggested Energumene was taken by surprise by the white boards on the fences - but he had no problem at the second attempt.
He added: "He just propped at the first fence in the Clarence House and it just upset him. We had to go to Plan B then, which didn't work out.
"We've schooled him plenty over the white fences and they didn't worry him today and I'd say he was way sharper coming here, too.
"In showjumping we have different colour poles and some horses don't like this colour and that colour. Some horses go out and don't care what colours they see, but some see a different colour from a mile away and it puts them off."
Bloom felt the rain had worked in his horse's favour.
He said: "We were really confident going in, he's run a tremendous race. He looked the top horse all the way around so we were delighted, absolutely delighted.
"I had a few quid on, so we're quids in. We were confident anyway but obviously the rain helps the horse - had it been good ground we would have been a lot less confident. The rain in the last couple of hours has been a big boon.
"He didn't run to his best in the Clarence House Chase, but he has really shown his class today. I think maybe a bit of getting used to them (white fences) after one go over them and he was maybe not at his best a couple of months ago, but he was certainly at his best today."
Bloom has a big date this weekend with Brighton in the FA Cup quarter finals.
He said: "That would be nice (if we could win the Champion Chase and FA Cup), but we will focus on Crystal Palace tonight and I will be there later on and after that we will concentrate on the Grimsby Town game, but the FA Cup is in sight and we are really looking forward to that. I did make it to the Brighton game after being here last year, but I missed the first 20 minutes!
"He is a brilliant horse. I didn't have any pressure. It was all on Energumene and he takes all the pressure unbelievably well. Willie is an unbelievable trainer and we love having him as part of our team. He just gets the horses ready for the Cheltenham Festival like no other. There is no score prediction for tonight. I'm simply hoping for a home win."
Henry de Bromhead was thrilled with the runner-up.
He said: "I'm delighted with him, he was really good. He jumped brilliant, we came here hoping we'd be placed and we were.
"I don't think we'll take him to Aintree, we tried that before and it didn't work, so it will either be Punchestown or Sandown."
Alan King was at a loss to explain Edwardstone's lacklustre effort, with last year's Arkle winner coming home last of five finishers.
He said: "I just don't know what happened, I've never been happier with a horse going into a race but I was beaten after two fences.
"I can't blame the ground because he's gone on that before and his preparation has been perfect, I promise you I have not missed a beat the last month to six weeks. I just don't know.
"He was just never going, jumping the third I was thinking 'he's not going to win anything'. If you think back to the Tingle Creek, he tanked the whole way through but he was never going today.
"He's never had an off-day before - that's his first one, but there we are."