Rachael Blackmore now looks nailed on to be top-jockey at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, after riding Quilixios to victory in the JCB Triumph hurdle.
Blackmore claimed her sixth winner of the festival on the Henry de Bromhead-trained four year old, ahead of Adagio and Haut En Couleurs.
11/8 favourite Zanahiyr couldn't match the Cheveley Park star, eventually finishing fourth.
Raced keenly from the start alongside outsider Talking About You, Quilixios looked comfortable throughout, as did Zanahiyr, while the Alan King contender Tritonic settled in the middle of the bunch.
It was anybody's race as they began to turn down the hill, with Blackmore the first to make a move, pushing Quilixios on just after the second last hurdle.
Tritonic never found the much-talked about pace, but Zanahiyr, Adagio and Haut En Couleurs were all within striking distance of the leader approaching the last.
However, Blackmore's mount always looked in command coming up the hill, returning as a 2/1 winner, a sixth of the week for her and a fifth for trainer Henry de Bromhead.
Three-and-a-half lengths back came Adagio (10/1) for Tom Scudamore and David Pipe, while the Willie Mullins trained 20/1 shot Haut En Couleurs was ridden into third by jockey Paul Townend, in the silks of Al Boum Photo, with whom Townend will be on in the Gold Cup.
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