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Paul Townend claimed his first win at this year’s Cheltenham Festival when riding Ferny Hollow (11/1) to victory in the the concluding £75,000 Grade 1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper.
A £300,000 purchase from the Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham February Sale in 2019, the five-year-old recorded a two and a half-length success, defeating stable companion Appreciate It (15/8f), ridden by Patrick Mullins.
Mullins was recording his 10th victory in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper and a 66th victory at The Festival in total.
Speaking of the winner, the Closutton maestro, admitted:
“He ran too freely on his first two runs and putting a hood on him has changed him, together with more drastic tactics – just holding him up and holding him up. He is lovely at home but gets a little bit upset in a race, so I think jumping will suit him a lot better. We will probably go for the Champion Bumper at Punchestown and maybe the same for Appreciate It.”
5.30pm Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1)
1 Ferny Hollow (Cheveley Park Stud) Willie Mullins 5-11-05 Paul Townend 11/1
2 Appreciate It (Miss M A Masterson) Willie Mullins 6-11-05 Mr Patrick Mullins 15/8f
3 Queens Brook (Noel Moran/Mrs Valerie Moran) Gordon Elliott 5-10-12 Mr Jamie Codd 6/1
Distances: 2½, 3¼