Willie Mullins’ Briar Hill, in the hands of Ruby Walsh, sprang a 25-1 shock in the Weatherbys’ Champion Bumper.
The outsider of Mullins’ three runners in the race, he exploded clear up the straight to win going away by seven lengths.
It was a fifth of the week for the Carlow trainer, he also won the opening four-mile National Hunt Chase with Back In Focus, and a fourth for Walsh and took Walsh’s total of winners to 38 and he is easily the leading rider in the history of the festival.
Runner-up Regal Encore (7-1 joint-favourite) fleetingly looked the biggest danger along the straight, but the Graham Wylie-owned Briar Hill bounded up the hill to score by seven lengths.
Golantilla finished third for the Tony Martin team.
Mullins said: “We did know he had a little bit of ability.
“We were only here to see how good he was, so it was a huge surprise to see how well he did it.
“I think the hill, and probably the better ground, did it for him. I wasn’t particularly pushed about bringing him, but we did know he had a bit of ability after his debut [won at Thurles], despite showing nothing at home.”
Ruby added: “I got a bad break and got knocked down, but it worked out.
“When I gave him a smack he took off – he was very impressive.
“He’s no ’flash harry’ at home but you don’t mind when they do it on a racecourse.
“It was a bit of a surprise but a nice surprise. It looked a strong enough race on paper, and he’s somewhere related to Boston Bob and we have always classed him as a chaser down the line rather than a bumper horse.
“I think all the championship races here are won by good horses.”
Briar Hill is next season likely to be campaign as a staying hurdler.
Mullins, who had three runners in the race, added: “I thought I had a chance, but I didn’t think it would be with this one.
“If you rated the three horses, he would probably have been bottom of them all, so it’s a nice surprise.
“We’ll think about Punchestown. He’ll go down the novice hurdling route and I see him being an Albert Bartlett horse.”
Regal Encore’s trainer Anthony Honeyball said with a smile: “I’m pleased for Ruby and Willie – they really needed it.
“I’m delighted with the run but he’s still a bit keen and needs to be held up.
“Hopefully in time we’ll be able to ride him a bit further up with the pace.”
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