BOOKIES were pasted as 7-5 fav Galopin Des Champs won an action-packed Gold Cup.
Willie Mullins and jockey Paul Townend were left in dreamland as their stable star pounded away up the famous hill.
But it was a chaotic race as Hewick, Sounds Russian and Ahoy Senor all fell.
Fortunately all the horses got back on their feet and the jockeys were OK as well.
Speaking of Townend's masterclass in the saddle, AP McCoy said: "Oh my God. Talk about pressure. What a ride."
Sir Alex Ferguson looked in with a shout of victory as his horse Protektorat battled for the lead late on.
But as he faded Paul Nicholls' Bravemansgame took charges as Galopin Des Champs loomed large.
He pinged to the front at the last and left them all trailing behind as he hit overdrive to land the £350,000 first-place prize in style.
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Townend, who looked overcome with emotion at the end, said: "I was delighted to see them all going at it in front of me.
"This race is just different. It brings winning to a different level."
Bravemansgame clung on for second at 6-1 while 22-1 Conflated came third.
Last year's Grand National winner Noble Yeats stayed on for fourth at 14-1.
The victory was sweet redemption for Galopin Des Champs after he famously knuckled on landing and unseated Townend in the Turners just 12 months ago.
That proved a one-off though, with the superstar chaser untouchable since then, never really being challenged in his next three wins.
There were doubts over his stamina here but he proved all the naysayers wrong with an absolutely thumping charge to the post.
Runner-up Cobden suggested it will be a hell of a challenge to beat the horse next year after he was made 11-8 to win it again.
Cobden, who earlier landed a big winner on Stay Away Fay, said: "I''m thinking about how we're going to come back next year and beat him!"
Top trainer Mullins said: "I didn't realise how much pressure was on till the third last – he flew it then I thought I knew what's going to happen!
"Through the race we were wondering if he was too far back.
"I told Paul to settle him, I told him you have the best horse, the fastest horse, you ride him from the second last home.
"Paul is so good under pressure. I've been putting him under a fair bit of pressure this week!
"I'm just delighted he did what he did."
Coral's David Stevens described the impact on bookies.
He said: "A winning favourite in the second biggest betting race of the entire year is never going to be a good result for the bookmakers, and the Lossiemouth/Galopin Des Champs double was also extremely popular, ensuring this year's Festival will be one to remember for many punters."
Gold Cup result
1st Galopin Des Champs 7-5
2nd Bravemansgame 6-1
3rd Conflated 22-1
4th Noble Yeats 14-1
5th Protektorat 25-1
6th Royale Pagaille 50-1
7th Eldorado Allen 100-1
Brought down Sounds Russian 50-1
Fell Hewick 40-1
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Fell Ahoy Senor 14-1
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