After the Gold Cup masterclass, McCoy lavishes praise on Townend, describing his ride as “as brilliant as I’ve ever seen in any horserace.”
After leading the hot favourite Galopin Des Champs to victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday, Paul Townend was praised by multiple champion jockey Sir Anthony McCoy for providing “as brilliant a ride as I have ever seen in a horserace.”
Galopin Des Champs, who was at the back of the field, picked off his rivals one by one to get through and challenge Bravemansgame at the last fence before soaring up the hill to win the race for Townend for the third time.
The skill and patience shown by Townend was extolled by McCoy. Asked what he made of the performance, he said: “As brilliant a ride as I have ever seen in a horserace – talk about riding a horse with bottle. Oh my god.
“Talk about pressure – the privilege of pressure – and oh my god he’s coped with it better than anyone I’ve ever seen.”
Townend has been criticised at various points throughout the week for his rides on the likes of Facile Vega in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and Appreciate It in the Turners Novices’ Chase, while Galopin Des Champs was a faller at the final fence when clear in the Turners Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last year.
Ruby Walsh praised Townend’s ability to ignore criticism and ride like he did on Galopin Des Champs, the Cheltenham Gold Cup’s market leader.
“I echo AP’s words completely,” he said. “You come to Cheltenham with all the pressure and to drop him in and ride him the way he rode him [was brilliant].
“He’s probably been listening to people like me giving out all week when he does something wrong, so to be able to put that all away and go and do what he’s just done I’m delighted for him. He deserves every plaudit he gets.”
He added: “There was brilliant race riding in there too. Harry Cobden [on Bravemansgame] kept it all tight off the home turn – it was a compelling race to watch. You wanted Bravemansgame and Galopin Des Champs going at it to the last – that’s what horseracing’s about. I thought it was magic.”
Winning trainer Willie Mullins said: “Paul is so good under pressure and I’ve been putting him under some fair pressure this week. It was a huge ride from Paul I thought – ride of the week anyway.”