Willie Mullins has won all five runnings of the £90,000 G2 Daylesford Mares' Novices' Hurdle and he continued that streak with 9/2 shot Concertista's emphatic win in the contest.
Ridden by Daryl Jacob, Concertista cruised into contention in the home straight and sauntered to an emphatic 12-length success over stable companion Dolcita (9/1).
Mullins was recording a 15.5/1 double on the day following Min's victory in the G1 Ryanair Chase and a third winner of the week.
The Closutton maestro now draws back level with Nicky Henderson as the all-time leading trainer at The Festival™ presented by Magners with 68 winners.
Mullins' past winners in the race were Limini (2016), Let's Dance (2017), Laurina (2018) and Eglantine Du Seuil (2019).
Discussing the victory, Mullins said: "That was a good performance by Concertista. It's remarkable that was her actually her first victory for us... what has the trainer been doing!
"She ran on very strongly and coming into the race, I wasn't sure the ground would suit, so I'm delighted with that performance.
"I forget we hadn't won a maiden with Concertista during her career with us, so it's niceto get off the mark in this event.
"We'll probably go to Fairyhouse with her next, but there are lots of options further down the line.
"She has a nice mark on the Flat so we might use that at some stage. Owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede have a lot of runners in France so we could take her there.
"She is turning into the mare I thought we had bought at Deauville.
"Concertista was a very immature sort when we bought. I never dreamt she would grow into the big mare she is now. She is very strong and today's test of stamina bought out the best in her.
"She was very impressive visually."
4.50pm Daylesford Mares' Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2)
1 Concertista (Simon Munir & Isaac Souede) Willie Mullins IRE 6-11-02 Daryl Jacob 9/2
2 Dolcita (Sullivan Bloodstock Ltd) Willie Mullins IRE 5-11-02 Robbie Power 9/1
3 Rayna's World (Ace Bloodstock & Rayna Fitzgerald) Phil Kirby 5-11-02 Thomas Dowson 100/1
22 ran 11/4 fav Minella Melody (18th)
Distances: 12, 2¾
Tote Win: £5.50 Place: £2.10, £3.30, £40.50 Exacta: £50.90
Willie Mullins - 68th winner at The Festival
Daryl Jacob - 3rd winner at The Festival
Concertista is perfectly tuned up
Daryl Jacob's victory aboard Concertista in the G2 Daylesford Mares' Novices' Hurdle was his third career win at The Festival, and his first since 2014, when Lac Fontana took the County Hurdle.
The Willie Mullins-trained Concertista, runner-up to Eglantine Du Seuil in this contest last year, beat Dolcita - also trained by Mullins - by 12 lengths at odds of 9/2.
Jacob said: "She was impressive, and she had a real turn of foot. That was a rough race and I never had the position I wanted to have the whole way round. I got bumped at the top of the hill, and then coming down there was a lot of scrimmaging round the bottom of the hill. To be fair to her, I suppose that's why the Irish horses have such an advantage when they come over for these handicaps here; they are very shrewd, and she went through a gap I didn't think it was possible to get through but she's seen the gap. Then she came back on the bridle down to the last, and I knew then, with the turn of foot she showed last year, I thought she'd take me the whole way to the line. I actually got there sooner than I wanted and she was sort of star-gazing around once she got to the front.
"All credit to Willie and his team, and to Simon [Munir] and Isaac [Souede, owners of Concertista and for whom Jacob is retained jockey]. From this day last year they planned this race for her, and they mapped their season around it. She came up trumps today.
"Getting my first Festival winner for Simon and Isaac is brilliant. I'm over the moon."
Dolcita chases home stablemate Concertista in Mullins one-two
Robbie Power gained an overdue first placing at The Festival™ presented by Magners when the Willie Mullins-trained Dolcita (9/1) chased home her impressive stablemate Concertista (Daryl Jacob, 9/2) at a respectful 12 lengths in the £90,000 G2 Daylesford Mares' Novices' Hurdle.
He said: "She's a real nice filly. The winner is very good and was second in this race last year. Mine probably wants two and a half miles next year and is one to look forward to."
Phil Kirby was thrilled with the staying-on third of 100/1 chance Rayna's World (Tommy Dowson) and said: "We thought she'd win first time and then we thought she'd go close second time, but she just bumped into a couple of really good ones.
"She's a lovely filly and we just want to keep her a novice for next season, which is why we came here. We rode her to run well and she was probably flat out all the way, but she'll be a lovely mare to go chasing with one day.
"She might go to Aintree, but the last thing we want to do is go and win a five grand maiden at this stage of the season."