Live

Repeat: OTB AM

12:00 AM-02:00 AM

Repeat: OTB AM
'It's up there as one of my be...
Racing

'It's up there as one of my best days' - Paul Townend reflects on great finish at Cheltenham

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

18:20 13 Mar 2020

Paul Townend steered  Al Boum Photo to victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup at Prestbury Park this afternoon as the Willie Mullins trained eight-year-old became only the fourth ever horse to win the week's most prestigious race in consecutive years.

The 29-year-old Cork native was also on board last year when Mullins finally ended his Gold Cup drought and won for the very first time.

He was full of praise for the horse and Mullins afterward.

"What an incredible horse. What a training feat by Willie Mullins, I'm just lucky enough to have been on his back.

"It was a different race to last year, it was always going to be, on paper.

"I went out to ride my horse to suit him, we got in a nice rhythm and got jumping well  at the business end, got me in a nice position at the top of the hill and he produced.

"He put down his head and showed his toughness to the line.

"I wasn't 100% sure I'd won until I saw it on the big screen."

The Gold Cup victory today as well as a win on board Monkfish in the Novices' Hurdle and victory with Burning Victory in the first race of the day means Townend finishes the festival as leading jockey.

Speaking to Off The Ball following the successful day, he said it was a surreal moment.

"It's right up there as one of my best days. It hasn't sunk in to tell the truth."

He also said coming to the festival he didn't feel the weight of expectation upon him and this was helpful.

"Other people made a lot more it than I did.

"I was coming here with a good book of rides every other year and I had to take it every bit as serious.

"Any pressure that was put on I put on myself.

"I knew though that Willie would have my back if things didn't go right and that fills you with confidence."

This year's festival will forever be remembered for and marred by complications and controversy involving the Coronavirus spread.

Townend said that with his mind totally focused on racing, it didn't prove to be a distraction but that jockeys were aware of it.

"When we got in here we kinda went into a bubble to be honest.

"We were speaking about this riding out this morning.

"It's obvious it's going on and it's been a worry all week but I've been in a Cheltenham bubble so I guess it's back to the real world now and it's going to be different."

Download the brand new OTB Sports App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


Read more about

Cheltenham Coronavirus Gold Cup Paul Townend

Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up in queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

12:00 AM-02:00 AM

Share

Up next

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

02:00 AM-05:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

05:00 AM-07:00 AM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

07:00 AM-07:30 AM

Share

LIVE: OTB AM

LIVE: OTB AM

07:30 AM-10:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

10:00 AM-12:00 PM

Share

Off The Bench

Off The Bench

12:00 PM-01:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

01:00 PM-02:00 PM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

02:00 PM-05:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Monday Night Rugby

LIVE: Monday Night Rugby

05:00 PM-06:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

06:00 PM-07:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Newsround

LIVE: Newsround

07:00 PM-07:30 PM

Share

LIVE: Off The Ball

LIVE: Off The Ball

07:30 PM-08:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Monday Night Rugby

LIVE: Monday Night Rugby

08:00 PM-09:00 PM

Share

LIVE: The Football Show

LIVE: The Football Show

09:00 PM-10:00 PM

Share

Off The Bench

Off The Bench

10:00 PM-11:00 PM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

11:00 PM-12:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

12:00 AM-02:00 AM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on