PAUL Townend and Colreevy took the inaugural Mares Chase at Cheltenham for the Flynn family, owners of the Imperial Hotel.
It was a titanic battle up the famous hill on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival, with the Lisgoold jockey eventually securing his third win of the week.
This took some bottle from Townend after losing out in a photo finish in the Hunters Chase aboard Billaway and finishing third on Al Boum Photo an hour earlier.
“She’s very tough. She’s only a novice but you wouldn’t think it by the way that she jumps," said the Corkman.
"She was very keen with me early, down the middle and back onto the racecourse proper. But I elected to let her on and attack her jumps. Myself and Mark [Walsh] got into a good duel from a long way out.
My only fear was that we had gone at it a long way out and that something might come from behind.”
Earlier, Al Boum Photo and Townend finished a gallant third in a pulsating Gold Cup as they bid for three in row. It was a race that had so many incidents.
In the end, it was the Henry De Bromhead trained Minella Indo who fought off the attentions of his stablemate A Plus Tard for a brilliant victory.
North Cork trainer Eugene Sullivan’s It Came To Pass relinquished his Hunters Chase title after a few niggling mistakes upset his jumping rhythm. Maxine O'Sullivan was in the saddle when It Came To Pass won in 2020, but couldn't travel this year due to a ban on amateur jockeys.
In the end, it was won by Porlock Bay but the O’Sullivans will look forward to Aintree and Punchestown with relish.
Willie Mullins edged out Henry De Bromhead for the Trainers Title while Tipperary native Rachael Blackmore claimed the Jockeys Award after riding six winners this week including the Champion Hurdler Honeysuckle.