WHERE do we begin? The brilliance of Constitution Hill, the sheer emotion of Honeysuckle, the class of Energumene, the rejuvenation of Envoi Allen, the promise of Marine Nationale, El Fabiolo and Impaire Et Passe, the youth of John Gleeson, the joy of first timers Michael O’Sullivan, Darragh O’Keeffe, Liam McKenna, Patrick Neville, the pleasure of old timers Tony Martin and Sire Du Berlais. The ‘every’ timers, Mullins and Elliott. The owners who paid fortunes to be on the winning rostrum, before the owners who paid just £59 to be there too. And then a rivetting Gold Cup to end it all.

For all the pre-Festival negativity, it was hard not to think it was the perfect Festival. Fears of a Mullins domination dwindled by Wednesday. Six winners was satisfying but maybe less so when you counted the number of runners from Closutton and those beaten at shortish odds.

There were fears of too many short-priced favourites winning but Facile Vega, Gerri Colombe, Mighty Potter, Shishkin, Luccia and Allegorie De Vassy were chinned.

The field sizes held up well with only the Champion Hurdle and perhaps the National Hunt Chase being disappointing in numbers, though the presence of the outstanding Constitution Hill wiped out the each-way betting angle with only seven runners in the hurdling championship. Thirteen in the Gold Cup is as good a field as we had in many years.

If the Mares’ Hurdle (wrongly) receives criticism, so too should the Cross-Country if it now regularly contains Grade 1 horses, for all that it was a good race between the two high class stable companions. It really should be a race where Grade 1 runners are penalised.

The Mares’ Hurdle, used the Honeysuckle way, as a step up to Grade 1 level before going to the open championship and there to come back when age begins to take away two-mile speed, allowing a fitting finale against younger rivals, is how’s it should fit into any mare’s career.

Energumene came back to his best in a second Champion Chase.

The Gold Cup was a proper test of the end game of it all - crown the best staying chaser and Galopin Des Champs delivered to raise the cheers again. Rich Ricci said in an earlier interview: “Sport is about redemption” and there were a few times the cards did not fall Paul Townend’s way this season but he shrugged them all off and it was an emotional third success in the sports ultimate prize.

It was hard to beat Cheltenham Tuesday for a perfect day’s racing. “You just can’t stop with the superlatives,” Racing TV pundit Dave Nevison said on Tuesday. “A couple of people’s lives have changed.”

‘Father Time is undefeated’ was a good line offered by my colleague Mark Boylan in an argument against Honeysuckle enjoying her grand finale victory.

The dual Champion Hurdle winner might have given her trainer a few bites along the way and at Cheltenham on Tuesday she delivered a fine kick in the nuts to Mr Time.

With her head high, she let everyone know that this was her stage and she was leaving it on her own terms, in the number one spot.

Lives did change in her home stables since her Champion success last year.

But in the joyous reception she and Rachael received, it enhanced four days when we were lucky to be immersed in success stories and bring some succour from the everyday crap that hits us – some more severely.

The championship races had deserving winners. Galopin was great, Constitution Hill might have won the plaudits but it was ‘Honey’ and all who sailed with her these last years that still had our hearts.