Paul Townend

Mullins Favourite For British Title After National Triumph With I Am Maximus

I Am Maximus (Fr) (Authorized {Ire}) produced one of the most impressive Grand National-winning performances in some time to propel Willie Mullins to the head of the British Trainers' Championship. Owned by JP McManus and ridden by Paul Townend, last year's Irish Grand National hero represented winner number two in the Aintree showpiece for Mullins, who sent out Hedgehunter (Ire) (Montelimar) to success in 2005. Returned the 7-1 co-favourite, I Am Maximus stormed clear of Delta Work (Fr) (Network {Ger}) in second with former Gold Cup winner Minella Indo (Ire)...

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Galopin Des Champs Seals Golden Week For Mullins, Again

CHELTENHAM, UK--Believe it or not, Willie Mullins drew a blank on day three of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival, with Capodanno (Fr) (Manduro {Ger}) and Jade De Grugy (Fr) (Doctor Dino {Fr}) faring best of their trainer's 11 runners on that card when finishing fourth in their respective races. Twenty-four hours without a winner at the Festival is a long time in Willie's world, the one in which he hit the target six times across the first two days of the meeting. Thankfully for him after Thursday's 'drought', there was a...

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'State Man Must Win' – Q&A With Haras de Saint-Voir Boss Nicolas de Lageneste

There are few more respected figures in French National Hunt racing than Nicolas de Lageneste.  It seems as though everything de Lageneste turns his hand to, be that breeding, training or simply owning racehorses, it is a success. Last year he completed the rare achievement of being crowned champion National Hunt owner and breeder in the same season. Nobody has ever done that before.  Fewer still would be capable of nurturing a horse like Il Est Francais (Fr) (Karaktar {Ire}). Not only did de Lageneste breed the superstar chaser, who...

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Irish Racing Yearbook 2024 Now Available

Irish Racing Yearbook 2024, an annual chronicle of horse racing in Ireland, the achievements of Irish people on foreign soil while covering the entire spectrum of the sport of racing and thoroughbred industry in the form of interviews, profiles, analysis and more, is now available for purchase. The collection is a collaboration of the best writers and photographers with the leading protagonists in all spheres from breeding to sales, from point-to-point tracks to the racecourse. The cover story is written by Donn McClean, providing insight from three-time Gold Cup winner...

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'It's A Huge Team Effort' — As Mullins Wraps Up Another Irish NH Championship

Six Irish National Hunt champions, including Willie Mullins, will be presented with their end-of-season awards at Punchestown on Saturday. Charlie McConalogue, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, will be on hand at the course to distribute the honours. Trainer Willie Mullins was named the Irish NH Champion Trainer for the 17th time. He saddled his 4,000th career winner in January and sets a new record for the number of winners in a NH season having surpassed his previous best of 212, set in the 2017/2018 season. The trainer of...

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Galopin to Glory in the Gold Cup

CHELTENHAM, UK--Resplendent in bright green on St Patrick's Day, Audrey Truly clasped the Cheltenham Gold Cup as she chatted with Princess Anne while her face bore a look of disbelief. The owner could be forgiven if the enormity of the relatively smooth victory of her 7-year-old Galopin Des Champs (Fr) (Timos {Ger}) in jump racing's most prestigious race was yet to sink in.  Exactly a year ago the sleek dark brown gelding appeared to be about to back up his first Cheltenham success in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Hurdle...

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Irish NH Champions Crowned At Punchestown

The 2021/2022 Irish National Hunt Champions were announced at Punchestown on Saturday. Of the six, five were repeat winners, with Jack Foley named the Champion Conditional Jockey for the first time. Ireland's NH champions are as follows: Champion Owner: JP McManus (19th win) Champion Trainer: Willie Mullins (16th win) Champion Jockey: Paul Townend (fifth win) Champion Conditional: Jack Foley Champion Amateur: Patrick Mullins (14th win) Champion Lady Amateur Rider: Jody Townend (second win) Horse Racing Ireland Chief Executive, Suzanne Eade, said, "This is the first time since May 2019 that...

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Rock Star Rachael Is Pure Gold On A Plus Tard

CHELTENHAM, UK--Emotions ran high at Cheltenham on Friday as Rachael Blackmore, the most successful female National Hunt jockey of all time, continued to rewrite the history books, this time by becoming the first woman to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Her willing and sublimely talented partner was A Plus Tard (Fr) (Kapgarde {Fr}), who was runner-up to his stable-mate Minella Indo (Ire) (Beat Hollow {GB}) last year but turned the tables in emphatic fashion this time around. Tackling the defending champion for the lead over the final fence, the 8-year-old...

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Porter Floors 'Em To Remain King Of The Stayers

CHELTENHAM, UK--Depending on your preference, Thursday at Cheltenham is either Paddy Power Stayers' Hurdle day or Ryanair Chase day but either way, on St Patrick's Day each of the Irish-sponsored co-feature races produced a repeat Irish winner. The one key difference 12 months on was that the owners of Flooring Porter (Ire) (Yeats {Ire}) and Allaho (Fr) (No Risk At All {Fr}) were allowed on course to celebrate in person. And celebrate they did. The huge black-and-white-bedecked entourage that accompanied the dual Stayers' Hurdle winner Flooring Porter made the most...

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Boum Time Again For Mullins In Gold Cup

CHELTENHAM, UK—With a slightly surreal sense of the final day of the Cheltenham Festival providing a last hurrah for racing as know it, at least for now, Al Boum Photo (Fr) (Buck's Boum {Fr}) returned to the scene of his greatest triumph to land back-to-back runnings of the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup. He's not seen often, but when the sleek 8-year-old gelding appears at the races he seldom disappoints and his assured victory sealed a sensational day for Willie Mullins, who saddled the first four winners of the week's finale....

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