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'I had three operations' | Jody Townend makes triumphant return with win at the Galway Races

Kenneth Fox
Kenneth Fox

10:15 29 Jul 2019


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Great White Shark won the Connacht Hotel (Q.R.) Handicap event with young jockey Jody Townend on the saddle. 

It wasn't all plain sailing for the young rider but as the race came to a close Great White Shark came alive.

Speaking to Off The Ball she described how the race went “I jumped off and she can be quite free so she actually wasn’t traveling, and I was afraid to light her up too much so I just sat and took my time.”

“Thank god she had enough gears when I turned into the straight I think there was only three behind me going down into the ditch. Once she picked up she passed them like they were stopped," she said.

It was a long hard road back for Townend the sister of Gold Cup winner Paul Townend, as she suffered a horrendous injury.

“I broke my back in October and I was out for nine months and I had to get metal put in and then the metal got infected and it had to be taken out again.”

“I had three operations, but sure I will forget about that it’s in the past.”

“There were a few long nights and stuff but sure I have great people around me and it makes it a lot easier," she said.

Her trainer Willie Mullins had confidence in her that she would get the job done.

“Willie reckoned she had as much chance as any of them in it and he said sure see how you jump out and he filled me with confidence.”

“Hopefully I’ll stay in one piece and hopefully I get a few winners on the board.”

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