She is now unbeaten from four starts at jump racing’s HQ after following up on last year’s Arkle Trophy triumph with this hard-fought success.
And she was aptly-named; racing fans on both sides of the Irish Sea were having to celebrate with tea, rather than Guinness, because of the lockdown.
The win was one of six Irish-trained success on St Patrick’s Day as the Emerald Isle continues to dominate this year’s National Hunt Festival.
Never again will Put The Kettle On, owned by the One For Luck syndicate, be under-estimated after showing guts to see off Nube Negra and Ireland’s champion chaser Chacun Pour Soi who had every chance at the last.
She devoured the Cheltenham hill once again to get up and score by half a length under Aidan Coleman who partners Paisley Park in Thursday’s Stayers’ Hurdle.
“She was very good over the first three or four fences, and after I’d jumped four I was fairly confident that I’d stay there until at least turning in and then what will be will be,” said Coleman who only broke his Grade One duck in December 2018 as he approached his 1,000th winner.
“I had the partner with the attitude and ability. It’s fantastic. I don’t know what is about Cheltenham with her as this is the only place I’ve ridden her. As long as she can come here a couple of times a year and do the business we’re happy enough!
“If I could bottle what she has I wouldn’t have to ride again – I’d sell it, and be a rich man.”
He added: “These championship races - the Champion Hurdle, the Champion Chase, the Stayers’ Hurdle and the Gold Cup - are the races you grow up watching.
“If you’re lucky enough to ride in them it’s fantastic, and if you’re lucky enough to win one it’s even better.
“It was very special - pulling up was really emotional, because we all love these horses and we do it day in, day out for them. When you ride something that loves it and wants to win as much as this, it’s just a pleasure. It brings you back to your roots and why you wanted to get into the game - and that’s the love of the animal.”
This is proving to be a defining meeting for the mare’s trainer Henry de Bromhead who teamed up with Rachael Blackmore to take the opening Grade One Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle 24 hours after making Champion Hurdle history with Honeysuckle.
“She’s so tough and Aidan was brilliant on her,” said de Bromhead. “He really asked her at the last three and that probably won him the race. I don’t know what it is about this place. Winning the Champion Hurdle and Champion Chase with mares especially, it’s the stuff of dreams.”
Monkfish confirmed his lofty reputation in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase despite some scratchy jumps under Paul Townend for Willie Mullins – this will have eased their disappointment over Chacun Pour Soi. And then unrestrained joy as trainer Paul Hennessy and jockey Richard Condon were given a guard of honour by their Irish peers after Heaven Help Us made all to win the Coral Cup.
Hennessy is a greyhound trainer by trade with 40 dogs but has just three horses in training, while Condon is a 7lb claimer who was having his first-ever ride at Cheltenham.
Their win was as popular as dual Grand National hero Tiger Roll dominating the Glenfarclas Cross Country Race to record his fifth Festival win. Only Quevega with six successes has won more races at the meeting.
On this showing, Tiger Roll would have been a force in next month’s Randox Grand National – but he’s already been withdrawn by Gigginstown House Stud after owner Michael O’Leary was unhappy with the little warrior’s weight.
It took until the sixth race for the first British-trained winner when Sky Pirate took the Grand Annual Chase for trainer Jonjo O’Neill and jockey Nick Scholfield.
However Sir Gerhard took the Bumper under the tactically astute Blackmore on a day when the Irish needed little luck on St Patrick’s Day because of their dominance and even less excuse to put the kettle on.
Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive membiers-only offers. Click HERE to subscribe.