Web Stories Wednesday, April 17

CHELTENHAM :Galopin Des Champs won the Cheltenham Gold Cup for the second year in succession on Friday to complete a remarkable week for Irish trainer Willie Mullins.

Ridden again by Irish jockey Paul Townend, the 11-10 favourite burst over the last of the 22 fences and galloped clear with only loose horse Fastorslow for company.

Gerri Colombe was second with Corach Rambler third in the 100th running of the iconic steeplechase.

“Unbelievable. We had to go through his reserves,” Townend, who now has four Gold Cup wins, told ITV.

“I rode him completely different to last year and he was so brave for me. I was afraid we didn’t have enough but it’s the Gold Cup so we had to go for it.

“What makes him a champion? His heart probably,”

Irishman Mullins racked up his 100th Cheltenham winner earlier on Wednesday and his total now stands at 103 after a triumphant final day in which Majborough claimed the Triumph Hurdle and Absurde won the County Hurdle.

He said the eight-year-old Galopin Des Champs will attempt to complete the treble next year.

“He’s put himself in the superstar category, to do what he did, the way he did it,” Mullins, who celebrated his fourth win at the blue-riband Gold Cup, told ITV.

“Paul was so positive on him, I think we have to come back and go for a third win next year.

“The loose horse was his only concern, he hit one fence early, after that he travelled easily.”

Only two horses since 2000 have returned to defend their Gold Cup crown, Best Mate in 2004 and Al Boum Photo in 2020, the latter being ridden to two victories by Townend.

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