Ireland's domination of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival reached new heights today, when trainers from the Emerald Isle saddled six  of seven winners on 'St Patrick's Thursday' to wrap up the Prestbury Cup from Great Britain with a day to spare.

Willie Mullins edged ahead of Nicky Henderson as the winning-most trainer in Festival history, as a double courtesy of Penhill and Laurina took his tally to 61 in all and seven for the week.

"When you start training in a base in Ireland, you are thinking to yourself 'if I get one Cheltenham winner that will be it', so I've never dreamt of being the winning-most trainer. It is a complete surprise," said the Closutton handler.

"It is a huge thank you to my staff and owners that have given us that record, as without them I wouldn't be in this position.  I'm lucky and delighted."

Gordon Elliott is just one behind his great rival in the race for the top trainer award at this year's meeting, thanks to a treble through Shattered Love, Delta Work and The Storyteller.

Not to be left out, Henry de Bromhead got in on the act with Balko Des Flos in the Ryanair Chase.

The latter's success saw Gigginstown House Stud's Michael O'Leary finally get his hands on the owner's trophy for the Ryanair Chase he has sponsored since 2006.

After several near-misses, he struck gold when Balko Des Flos outpointed last year's winner Un De Sceaux under Davy Russell.

Successful in the ultra-competitive Galway Plate in the summer, the 8-1 chance stepped up to Grade One company and starred on a brilliant day for Gigginstown, who also graced the winner's enclosure with Shattered Love and Delta Work.

"It's taken me 15 years to win the Ryanair, so I'm going to enjoy it. I'm going to get seriously drunk upstairs in the next couple of hours!" said O'Leary. "On a serious note, it's great for Henry. Henry has hit the bar a couple of times this week, so it's great to see him have a winner."

De Bromhead said: "I thought the ground had gone against us. It hasn't been raced on as much and it seemed nicer ground than yesterday, but I was still worried about it.

"Michael is very happy to have won it and I'm delighted to be the one to get it for them."

Cue Card was pulled up by Paddy Brennan and trainer Colin Tizzard stressed the team would not be rushed into making any quick decision on the 12-year-old's future.

Elliott continued on from his treble on Wednesday by repeating the trick.

Shattered Love (4-1) took the JLT Novices' Chase to give Jack Kennedy a winner on his only ride of the day, while Delta Work (6-1) and Glenloe gave him a one-two in a photo-finish to the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle.

The Storyteller (5-1 favourite) completed the good work in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase, where he was giving Russell a treble of his own..

The County Meath trainer said: "It's a great day - the horses are flying."

Penhill won at the Festival for the second year running when springing a 12-1 surprise for the Mullins team in the Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle.

Successful in the Albert Bartlett in 2017, Penhill had been absent for 323 days but was able to shrug off Supasundae to take the three-mile championship by two lengths for Brighton chairman Tony Bloom.

"He has little niggles that need tending and that is why he missed the whole of the Flat season," said Mullins of Paul Townend's mount.

"I was hoping to get a run into him but without it - it's hard enough coming here for a two-mile race without one, never mind three (miles) in a championship race on this ground, it's a huge achievement on the horse's part.

"It just shows the ability he has. We'll maybe go to Punchestown and have a proper jumps campaign next year."

Laurina (4-7 favourite) looked different class as she romped home by 18 lengths in the Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle, as Townend bagged a double.

Warren Greatrex's Missed Approach (8-1) spared Britain's blushes when taking the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup under Noel McParlan, just foiling the Pat Kelly-trained Irish raider Mall Dini.