Paul Townend went to another level at Cheltenham, he’s proven he’s one of the best – Ruby Walsh

Ruby was speaking on the latest episode of our From the Horse's Mouth Podcast.

Paul Townend celebrates winning the Magners Gold up for the second time on Al Boum Photo. Cheltenham Festival. Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post 13.03.2020


I’ve never like the phrase, but Paul Townend showed brilliant bouncebackability at Cheltenham. It’s something all top sportspeople have to have. They have to be able to get over a mistake and keep moving forward.

He showed that in spades. I was delighted for him. By the end of the week I thought he had taken himself to another level.

I got a little emotional on the TV. I’ve known Paul since he came into Willie’s yard. He’s a very hard-working guy. Very unassuming and very dedicated. He’s been through a lot in life and when the pressure was on he rose to the top.

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I was delighted for him, and I think by Friday evening he had cemented himself as one of the best riders around.

I thought Paul gave Al Boum Photo a very good ride. The race had been run very steadily for a Gold Cup, and then at the sixth, fifth and fourth-last he got him in a very good position. He got control of the race going into the third-last and got the job done.


Al Boum Photo Gold Cup

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I thought leaving there last year Al Boum Photo had been so impressive he could go and win a second Gold Cup.

Am I as convinced he’ll come back for the hat-trick next year? Probably not.

But that doesn’t take away from Paul and his ability to dig in, turn things around and put it right after he couldn’t get Benie Des Dieux home earlier in the week.


What do you think?