Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh got off the mark at the Cheltenham Festival when Quevega ran out a seriously impressive winner of the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle.

Mullins had stated before the meeting that he believed the five-year-old was his best chance of a winner all week - and she did not disappoint.

Walsh oozed confidence and tracked Chomba Womba before moving into contention at the second-last.

Once he pressed the button, the 2-1 favourite scooted clear to leave daylight back to runner-up United, who was thumped by 14 lengths.

Aura About You was third, another short head in arrears.

Mullins said: ‘I don't know what happened at the start - she was last when the tapes went up.

‘Luckily they didn't go a gallop for the first mile.

‘But once Ruby got her into the race, she was fine.

‘I thought she was my best chance of the week but I was surprised by the margin of the win.

‘She's a very good mare - at least she's proved that she's the business.’