Jockey Paul Townend describes the euphoric sensation after crossing the finish line with Al Boum Photo securing a brilliant Gold Cup triumph at Cheltenham Festival as “You dream of winning a Gold Cup when you grow up. I can guarantee it’s as good as you dream it’s gonna be.”
Undoubtedly people were celebrating the win all over the country but special celebrations took place in the quaint village of Glenbeigh, Co.Kerry where the Cork Jockey has close connections.
The 28-year-old Jockey marked the occasion as one that trainer Willie Mullins would never forget and he described the win as the thrill of a lifetime.
For Willie Mullins, the most successful trainer in the history of the Cheltenham Festival, it was his first Gold Cup win and he described Townend’s win as “poetry in motion”.
Paul has been around horses for as long as he can remember and began his racing career with very humble beginnings taking in part in Horse and Pony racing throughout the summers of his childhood along Rossbeigh beach, at the annual Glenbeigh festival which occurs each year towards the end of August/ beginning of September.
The top jockey gained a lot of insight and knowledge on board of Pat and John Griffin’s horse “Night Owl” and registered many wins for the Glenbeigh natives as a young aspiring jockey.
Townend was calm and collected while guiding Al Boum Photo through the battle that the Gold Cup race became. It was described as a triumph 20 years in the making as he recalls the days when he pretended to be winning the Gold Cup while whizzing around the fields on a pony near his home in Co.Cork. He vividly recalls rushing off the school bus as a child to ensure he was home on time to see the big race as the Cheltenham festival took place.
Townend was cool and effective in guiding Al Boum Photo through the battlefield this race became. It was a triumph 20 years in the making, since the days when he pretended to be winning the Gold Cup while whizzing a pony round fields near his home in County Cork. He vividly recalled rushing off the school bus during Cheltenham week so as to be home in time to see the big race.
Townend has been champion jockey in Ireland but the Gold Cup victory – and those wins on the beach at Rossbeigh – are certainly the undoubted highlights of his great career.
Pictured below is Townend as a young jock on Rossbeigh Beach, Glenbeigh, Co.Kerry
Source: Killarney Today