Bryan Cooper picked the right one as Don Cossack powered to Cheltenham Gold Cup glory from Djakadam.
The Gigginstown House Stud’s retained jockey had the choice of Don Cossack and last year’s RSA Chase winner Don Poli, and he selected correctly as Gordon Elliott’s horse justified favouritism.
Willie Mullins’ wait to win the Gold Cup goes on as Djakadam finished runner-up for the second year in a row, with stablemate Don Poli staying on for third.
There was also a sense of what might have been for the £1million bonus-seeking Cue Card, who took a crashing fall at the third last having just hit the front.
The Hennessy winner Smad Place blundered at the first fence as O’Faolains Boy led for the first few furlongs before the dashing grey joined him on the inside.
Smad Place grabbed the lead for himself at the end of the first circuit, but he started to struggle at the end of the far side as Djakadam made smooth progress on the inner for Walsh.
Don Cossack raced wide for Cooper and nodded on landing at the fourth last as Cue Card started to move between horses.
Cue Card looked to have narrowly edged in front on the run to the third last, but the King George winner ploughed through the fence and unshipped Paddy Brennan.
Cooper kicked Don Cossack for home on the turn into the straight and, after solid leaps at the final two fences, he stuck to his task gamely to dispel any stamina concerns.
He was four-and-a-half lengths up on Djakadam at the line, while Don Poli stayed on for third having never been in a position to land a blow.