Ruby Walsh bagged his fourth winner of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival as he piloted Yorkhill to a stunning victory in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle, as the Willie Mullins-trained raider got the better of the heavily-backed Yanworth, who could only finish second in the day two curtain-raiser.
Punters piled into Yanworth before the off, as he was sent off an 11/10 favourite, but as he kept a wide path for most of the race, the aforementioned Walsh kept Yorkhill on the inside, and he duly cantered to the front before maintaining his prominent position to beat the red-hot jolly by one-and-three-quarter lengths.
Barry Geraghty always looked confident on board Yanworth, but as a mistake at the third hurdle from home somewhat halted his momentum, your eyes were drawn to a motionless Walsh, who oozed confidence on the 3/1 winner, and having strode to the front he quickened impressively to put the race to bed.
Supporters of Yanworth may have been disappointed by the result, but he galloped to the line encouragingly, but was ultimately beaten by the best horse on the day, who could now be destined for a significant time at the top, as he looks every bit another class act off the Mullins' production line.
13:30 Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered As The Baring Bingham Novices' Hurdle 1.Yorkhill - W Mullins - R Walsh - 3/1 2.Yanworth - A King - B Geraghty - 11/10F 3.Its'Afreebee - D Skelton - I Popham - 33/1 11 Ran