Racing

"It's been a long time coming" - Patrick Mullins sums up Cheltenham Gold Cup win

Simon Maguire
Simon Maguire

07:26 15 Mar 2019


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It was a historic day at Cheltenham for celebrated trainer Willie Mullins after he finally landed the Gold Cup.

Paul Townend rode Al Boum Photo to victory in a dramatic race beating Anabale Fly into second.

Patrick Mullins joined Friday Night Racing and savoured the moment, telling Ger: "It's been a long time coming - it's been an awful long time coming. The first time I got to come to Cheltenham was 1999 and that was our first Cheltenham Gold Cup winner! We sent out four today and within the first lap, three of them were out of the race and Paul Townend pulled it out of the fire.

"Paul deserves huge credit on his ride and talk about the ultimate redemption after the unfortunate incident at Punchestown last year.

"He (Al Boum Photo) was in third place last year when he fell at the second last against Presenting Percy so he did have to improve and Ruby obviously went for Bellshill. Paul stuck with him - he had a lot of faith in him. He's just improved all the time and don't forget he had his prep run in Tramore, his only run of the season, so Tramore could be the place to prep your Gold Cup horses.

"It's just a place where they had nice ground, a good race and the conditions suited so it was an added bonus it was an undulating track - that was no harm coming here. It's a fantastic result - especially for Joe Donnelly, who is a relatively new owner to us.

"A couple of years ago when my father and Gigginstown parted ways - it looked like this kind of victory was even further away than ever because Gigginstown have the type of horses that win Gold Cups and we've had some owners who have stepped up for us and we're hugely grateful to them and it's brilliant to repay Joe Donnelly and his wife with this victory," he added.

Reflecting on the magnitude of his father claiming a Gold Cup as a trainer, he said: "There was no guarantee that a Gold Cup was going to make it back to Closutton. Plenty of good trainers have gone their whole career without winning one so all you can do is keep buying the right horses, keep trying good jockeys on them, keep training them as best you can and you keep knocking on the door and one day it might just open.

"Look, it's been an up and down week - there's been triumph and disaster - that's life. But look, we're walking out with the Cheltenham Gold Cup and you can be sure there's going to be a big party this weekend."

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