A day to remember for Cork jockeys with a Rebel treble at Cheltenham

A day to remember for Cork jockeys with a Rebel treble at Cheltenham
Gavin Sheehan onboard Simply The Betts comes home to win at Cheltenham. Picture: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

CORK jockeys Paul Townend, Davy Russell and Gavin Sheehan were all among the winners on another pulsating day at Cheltenham.

Min and Townend took the Ryanair Chase while Russell took the opening Marsh novice chase on Samcro in a dramatic photo finish.

But there were jubilant scenes following the victory of Simply The Betts under an inspired ride from Sheehan. The Dunmanway native narrowly lost out to Min aboard Saint Calvados and was in dreamland after this victory.

Gavin Sheehan celebrates winning onboard Simply The Betts. Picture: INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Gavin Sheehan celebrates winning onboard Simply The Betts. Picture: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

“It’s an unbelievable feeling to win around here and this horse gave me everything. Even coming back to the winners enclosure there was plenty of faces I recognise from the Point to Point fields and there was a big gang over from Dunmanway which means everything.

“It’s very emotional when you see old friends and I’m sure my grandfather is looking down on me”

“This was my fifth ride of the day and every time you do your homework and study the opposition. Maybe I was unlucky earlier as Saint Calvados ran an absolute belter to finish runner-up.

“Itchy Feet came down early so you just dust yourself down and get on with it. But I’m thrilled to ride a winner in these colours.”

Elsewhere on the card, Paisley Park under Aidan Coleman failed to fire as the feature race went to 50/1 outsider Lisnagar Oscar who was bred by Denis Fitzgerald here in Cork.

Paul Townend has taken over as the Mullins stable jockey this season following the retirement of Ruby Walsh and rode his second winner of the week.

Townend said: “It’s very important to win here anyway, regardless of who you’re riding for. It’s a big week this week.

“I’ve been coming here a long time and come here with good rides before and I just had to come here the same way. Even if they were second strings to Ruby’s they were still very good rides and very important rides.”

More in this section

Sponsored Content