Let's Dance brings up fantastic four for unstoppable duo
Rich Ricci experienced a "brutal" day when Douvan flopped in the Champion Chase and feared missing out when the Willie Mullins stable hit back on day three of the festival.
But his 2017 festival, at which he was operating without Annie Power and Faugheen, and at which Limini and Vroum Vroum Mag were beaten, finally came to life when Let's Dance was produced late by Ruby Walsh to claim a fourth win of the afternoon for her stable, equalling the trainer's own record one-day haul at the meeting set two years ago.
The mare also triggered a handsome windfall for the Mullins staff, who share a €50,000 bonus put up by solicitors Nathaniel Lacy & Partners should the winner of the Grade 2 Leopardstown novice hurdle they sponsor win any race at Cheltenham.
Reflecting on Wednesday, Ricci said: "I've never felt so low at a day's racing. I felt like I had let everyone down. People came to see Douvan, there was a record crowd, the weather was right, everyone talked about him. It was gut-wrenching."
"It's emblematic of the season we've had. It's been one of those years, everyone has them, but this game can tame a lion."
The American was loudly cheered by a group of fans in the winner's enclosure, and he went over to applaud them back.
"They have just been so good to me since I started here," he added. "I came into the game with a reputation as a banker and they have always accepted me and been supportive. It was an acknowledgement."
Sadly Toe The Line suffered a fatal injury when falling on the flat.
Mullins said of his winner: "I certainly enjoyed that one, and the ride Ruby gave her; to be able to ride with that sort of confidence and have the balls to be able to sit there and wait for the race to open up around her."
"Looking at where she was turning for home lots of things had to fall right, but they had gone a huge gallop and you probably don't expect mares to keep that gallop up."
He continued: "She could have gone for the Neptune but we felt the mares' novice would probably be an easier race to win, even though it was short of her best trip. I had to find the staff payroll somewhere this week.
"I suppose we would probably have 70 on the staff, but it's a nice bonus for them and nice for the sponsors to do that."
It was a nice day too for bloodstock agent Harold Kirk, who bought the first two finishers here, plus all three of Mullins's earlier Grade 1 winners.