On the sixth day, the good book tells us, God created all the creatures of the earth and then he made man and woman. He saw that it was good and, on the seventh day, he rested.

But if the good Lord had only made Cheltenham’s Tuesday and then decided to take a rest, we’d be happy to indulge him.

We all need a little rest after a day like the first day of Cheltenham 2021.

The fields were small for the Supreme and the Arkle, and it felt strange watching eight runners and no nervous tension coming off the stands at 1.20 before the Supreme.

But forget the quantity, feel the quality as Appreciate It galloped home, ears pricked, and Shishkin did as expected in the Arkle. Combined winning margins of 36 lengths in the first two races. Fears of soft ground rapidly evaporated as both races were well faster than last year.

Shishkin was dominant in the Arkle

Why ITV Racing felt the need, and at such a time in the day as just before the Arkle, to go back over the troubled waters of last year’s Festival - with a segment on the events leading up to the Festival and with Piers Morgan on what should have been done - I don’t know. It was like going to a party and apologising for something you did wrong the last time, even if most people did not think you were to be blamed.

The day was going perfectly, even in silent surroundings.

Even the Ultima Handicap, often the time for Irish viewers to grab a bit of lunch, threw up a feelgood story – for the good guys. Jockey Ryan Mania, excellent in after-race interviews, and jump racing's grand old man, Trevor Hemmings, with an 11-year-old bold-running, grey son of Cloudings, and trained by the Smiths. Four times he tried, would you try again?

On ITV Richard Hoiles got more excited by the winning post than he had done for Appreciate It or Shishkin.

“If at first, you don’t succeed …TRY, TRY, TRY, AND TRY AGAIN, at the fifth time in the race, and at 11 years, Vintage Clouds gets his Festival victory!” Okay, it was well paced to hit the line on the right note and I too shouted “Get up” as he went to the last.

Mania stepped away from the game for five years. "I was lucky to get rides, never mind winners," was his candid assessment.

Then to the Champion Hurdle. Who would really have thought, after last year, that Honeysuckle would go off at 10/11 favourite?

I got a few things right through the afternoon, happy to let the short-priced winners win, but doubts on Goshen proved correct. He went wayward mid-race – as if he was looking for stray photographers along the outside of the track rather than winning a championship race. It was a shame again for the Moores, after all the work that has been put into the horse. The only downer on the day.

But this was a race that Rachael Blackmore bossed, almost Ruby-like in keeping it simple – out wide down the hill as, for a moment, stable companion Aspire Tower looked to be going well, the acceleration that Honeysuckle showed at Leopardstown was there again, even on faster ground.

She won the Mares' Hurdle last year on the bend and, once more when asked to quicken, Honeysuckle quickly swept to the lead, out-pacing what were considered speedy horses in Sharjah and Epatante. She had it won before the last, and driven into it, she responded with a perfect leap, the old hesitancy at the last, well and truly gone.

Rachael Blackmore with the Champion Hurdle Trophy

The only hole in the day was the wish that they had got the cheers they deserved, preserved for all time on recordings of the 2021 Festival. Both on the walk back past the stands and on her return to unsaddle - the first female rider, the sixth mare, a first for her trainer Henry de Bromhead, and wonderful for her owner Kenny Alexander.

You had to echo Nick Luck's excitement on Racing TV. "She's even better than we thought she was!"

Honeysuckle’s win on the back of Epatante’s last year will add fuel to the debate that a 7lb allowance is too much for mares in open company. Perhaps it needs to be looked at and reduced to 5lb but to take it away and increase the likelihood that good mares will stay against their own sex is not the way forward. Epatante couldn’t hold off Sharjah this year, and he never runs two good races in a row.

Honeysuckle is a triumph for the improved mares' programme over the last five years or so but, if the addition of blacktype is just for breeding and sales purposes, we do need to remember jump racing is not like flat racing where the expectation is to breed the best to the best, and get classic winners.

Think what a shame it would have been if Honeysuckle had run in the Mares' Hurdle again.

The beauty of jump racing is that it consists of all shapes and sizes. Who’d have thought Jeremy would be a prolific NH sire? Where did Jeff Kidder find his path to jump racing, being by an Australian miler, who is a son of a top US dirt horse and sire?

Both Annie Power and Honeysuckle did it the proper way – (even though Annie fell) – using the Mares' Hurdle as a stepping stone into the open championship races.

Think what a shame it would have been if Honeysuckle had run in the Mares' Hurdle again.

That Mares' Hurdle provided the first shock of the day when the short-priced Concertisa was chinned on the line by Black Tears and Jack Kennedy. Kennedy has picked a nice ride in the Gold Cup on Minella Indo, forsaken by Blackmore this time.

The Elliott – sorry, Cullentra - will be happy with one winner, even if it should have been two. Galvin was laid out for the NH Chase by Elliott back in quieter times in November. Two weeks ago the horse was moved north to Ian Ferguson, who is racing manager for owner Ronnie Bartlett.

Noel Meade was absent but a Festival winner is a Festival winner – even at 80/1. Only a third winner in Britain for Sean Flanagan.

The breeding wars followed the training feats – five to Ireland and two to Britain, surprisingly none from France and, most notably, two winners for the late and long lamented Jeremy (he has Mister Fisher, Reserve Tank and The Glancing Queen still to come).

As the ground dried out, and the spring was finally in the air, you could feel our Lord was beginning to look kindly on us again.

And if he was looking down yesterday, he surely saw that all was good.