WILLIE MULLINS is off to a winning start at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, thanks to a convincing win for Appreciate It.
Appreciate it, who was the strong favourite for the first race of the festival, was ridden excellently by Corkman Paul Townend.
It was referred to as a "monstrous performance" from the horse, who glided to victory with ease in the Novices Hurdle.
Ballyadam came in second place, and 40/1 For Pleasure took third.
The official winning distance is listed as a 24 lengths, highlighting the comfort with which Townend won by.
APPRECIATE IT! ⚡️
What a performance to blitz the Supreme Novices' Hurdle!
Great start to the week for Willie Mullins! 🇮🇪#CheltenhamFestival #VMTVRacing pic.twitter.com/VPCluGLPAG
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) March 16, 2021
Townend said: "He was more workmanlike last time but that was more like it from this lad. Proper performance, wasn't it?"
This was in reference to a recent race Appreciate It ran at Leopardstown.
Interviewed after the race, Mullins described Appreciate It's performance as "awesome".
It could be a massive week for the Kilkenny born horse trainer, with some big wins expected throughout the rest of the day and the festival as a whole.