WILLIE Mullins and owner Rich Ricci ended the Punchestown Festival with a flourish as Saldier charged home in the Grade 1 AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle.

After a disappointing start to the week for Ricci's pink and green silks, he has seen Faugheen bounce back to his best to win the Stayers Hurdle, and 40 minutes before Saldier he looked on as Benie Des Dieux won the Mares Champion Hurdle.

Having cut no ice in the Triumph Hurdle, which was dominated by Farclas and Mr Adjudicator, Saldier was also beaten at Fairyhouse just 11 days ago.

He looked a different proposition on this occasion as Robbie Power bided his time behind the pace-setting Stormy Ireland before storming clear to win by three lengths at 10/1. Mr Adjudicator was second again with Saglawy and Msassa making it a 1-2-3-4 for Mullins.

Power said: "The lads thought a lot of him and it's just his jumping has been the problem. Today he jumped much better probably because of the better ground. He's got a good turn of foot as well."

Mullins said: "We thought an awful lot of him and were really disappointed with how he jumped at Cheltenham. Robbie sorted that out today. He brushed up on his jumping and Robbie said he jumped fantastically.

"I think all these could go to France – we haven't been hard on our four-year-olds this year. They have had a really easy time of it and it has paid off. He will stay hurdling next year.

"Punchestown is a lucky place for me!"