Galopin Des Champs’ Gold Cup victory proved the jewel within the crown as Willie Mullins and Paul Townend as soon as once more secured the highest coach and jockey honours on the Cheltenham Festival.
The duo endured a sticky begin to the week when favorite Facile Vega was turned over within the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, however the winners quickly began to circulate with El Fabiolo getting the duo off the mark for the week within the Arkle.
Mullins loved a second victory on Tuesday as his son Patrick steered Gaillard Du Mesnil to the National Hunt Chase, whereas Wednesday’s card produced two additional wins for the Mullins-Townend axis as Impaire Et Passe bossed the Ballymore and Energumene was too good within the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
The Closutton staff drew a uncommon clean on Thursday, however Lossiemouth had them smiling once more after victory in Friday’s Triumph Hurdle, earlier than Galopin Des Champs justified market confidence with a clear-cut Gold Cup verdict.
Townend’s 5 winners imply he’s now essentially the most profitable lively jockey on the Festival with 28 victories and a 3rd high jockey title, whereas Mullins is streets forward of his fellow trainers in having saddled 94 winners general on the assembly. He has been the fixture’s high coach on 10 events now.
Patrick Mullins, representing his father, mentioned: “To win the Gold Cup and the Champion Chase, they are half of the major races so that was fantastic. Galopin Des Champs winning the Gold Cup though really was the cherry on the top.
“Six winners is probably where we need to be hitting at least. The amount of horses we have and the standard we have, we needed to do everything we did this week.
“Last year was just one of those years after Covid and everything and we were never going to match that total of 10.
“Taking the Gold Cup and Champion Chase while El Fabiolo (Arkle) and Impaire Et Passe (Ballymore) look like they could be anything so we were very pleased to see them win as well. Galopin Des Champs really was the big one and thankfully he delivered.”
JP McManus completed the week because the main proprietor, with Impervious and Iroko giving him two victories on the ultimate day, though Sire Du Berlais’ shock 33-1 success in Thursday’s Stayers’ Hurdle was the spotlight.
He mentioned: “We finished strong which was great. You never know how you are going to get on as it is very competitive here. You are hoping to get a winner or two and it was nice to get off the board on Wednesday night.
“The Stayers’ Hurdle was a lovely race to win and to finish off with the Martin Pipe was great and we topped it off winning the Mares’ Chase. It has been wonderful. Any time you get a winner, they are really precious and they were all very special in fairness.”
The Prestbury Cup – the annual competitors between British and Irish trainers – was sealed on Thursday with victory as soon as once more going to the raiding occasion.
Irish handlers ended the assembly with 18 victories, with the British staff touchdown 10 – equalling the 2022 consequence.