Klassical Dream followed up his Cheltenham Festival triumph with a dominant victory in the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown.
The five-year-old provided Willie Mullins with a record sixth victory in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Prestbury Park and was all the rage as the 8-13 favourite to add to his tally in a race the champion trainer had also won on six occasions.
Gordon Elliott’s Aintree winner Felix Desjy adopted his customary pacesetting role from the outset and the strong gallop had most of his rivals in trouble a long way from home.
However, Klassical Dream was always on his tail under Ruby Walsh and after taking over the lead jumping the penultimate flight, he eased clear in the straight for a facile five-and-a-half-length success.
Felix Desjy boxed on to finish a clear second, with Mister Blue Sky best of the rest in third.
Mullins said: “Ruby said he was too settled and was not as pleased as he was in Cheltenham, but I thought in Cheltenham he just ran very free.
“You can’t keep racing like that and I was much happier with today’s performance, albeit the second horse has been to Cheltenham and Aintree and had two very hard races. He’s a fair machine, but we were the beneficiary of him having those hard races today.”
Paddy Power cut Klassical Dream to 5-1 from 8-1 for next year’s Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham and Mullins confirmed his charge is likely to remain over the smaller obstacles, rather than pursue a career over fences.
He added: “I’m happy to stay over hurdles and try to make a Champion Hurdle horse out of him. I think he could be good enough, so we’ll see.”