Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m5f, 4yo+
Nicky Henderson created history by becoming the winningmost trainer at the Cheltenham Festival as 2-1 favourite Simonsig gave him his 41st winner at the meeting, eclipsing Fulke Walwyn's previous record of 40 wins.
It was an impressive victory for the six-year-old, vindicating Henderson's decision to go for the Neptune rather than the Supreme, and he came home by seven lengths from Felix Yonger (16-1). Monksland (11-2) was third and Close House (33-1) fourth.
Simonsig's task was eased significantly when he was left in isolation after Cotton Mill attempted to run out at the second-last, unseating Denis O'Regan.
Cotton Mill was travelling well and his exit removed any drama from the finish, although Barry Geraghty appeared to have plenty left on the favourite before the incident.
Commenting on beating Walwyn's record, Henderson said: "It's lovely but I feel a bit overawed as you're talking about legends like Fulke Walwyn.
"I've been very lucky over the years. I've got a great team at home and owners have sent me some lovely horses. It's all about the team and it's been fun all the way."
Fiulin led the field at a decent tempo from the outset and did not give way until the run to three out. Cotton Mill had been with the leader for the second half of the race, while Simonsig made stalking progress for Geraghty, with the trio escaping the rest of the field.
Once Fiulin weakened and Cotton Mill dramatically parted company with O'Regan, Simonsig stayed on solidly to win in style.
Henderson said: "The one thing Barry and I didn't want was to find ourselves in front too soon - we wanted to wait forever - but he was travelling very well."
The luckless O'Regan said: "He was travelling well enough, but as we approached two out he veered to the left and wentto duck out. Going at that speed I wasn't able to stay on board."
Happily, Cotton Mill was reported to have got up and galloped away after falling on his own at the last.
Punchestown could be next for Monksland, according to trainer Noel Meade. "He was a bit flat-footed coming down the hill and stayed on well," he said. "I have to say I was a bit disappointed, I hoped he'd pick up more. He'll go chasing next season but we might look at Punchestown."