The final day of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival was an extraordinary day for the Mullins family, according to Patrick Mullins.
The champion jockey, son of Willie Mullins, was speaking on Friday Night Racing after Al Boum Photo created history by becoming the first horse since Best Mate in 2004 to win back-to-back Gold Cups.
Paul Townend was the jockey atop the Gold Cup-winning horse and sealed the festival’s leading jockey award with the win.
Willie Mullins was also named the champion trainer at the festival in a great day all round for the Mullins family.
“It was an extraordinary day. Very far removed from Tuesday and even Wednesday. But you know there are four days of it here and if you have a bad start to the week you just have to keep thinking that it can still turn around.
“A couple of years ago we had no winner on the first two days then Ruby came out as a four-timer on Thursday,” Mullins said.
While it was a historic day for Townend, Patrick Mullins was unsurprised that he was able to make the step up at his first Cheltenham.
“It’s fantastic for Paul to do it in his first year. With Ruby gone, there was never any doubt in our mind that he’d be well able to step up to the mark.
“The way it has worked out in the way that Paul has been number two for about 10 years - he’s riding here 10 years and he has 10 winners already.
“He’s 30, you know he’s not a 21-year-old stepping into the shoes. So I think it’s a lot different. It’s a great media line to be thinking that way.
“But the progression he has made under Ruby and the way he was able to be handed the job made it simple enough for him to come and do what he’s always been doing,” Mullins said.