Lossiemouth has won the Triumph Hurdle on Gold Cup day at Cheltenham Festival. The favourite put in a classy performance for Willie Mullins to finish ahead of Gala Marceau and Zenta, in what was a competitive opening race.
"I wasn't going to fight her too much, she wanted to get on with it,” winning jockey Paul Townend told ITV after the race. “I didn't question her stamina, I just wanted to keep it an even gallop.
"She is very good. She is very professional even though she hasn't got a whole lot of racing done."
Owner Rich Ricci was equally as delighted with the performance, as were the delighted Cheltenham crowd who were finally able to cheer home a winner after a difficult day yesterday. "She is lovely. She has been great all year. It has been such a great week for racing and great to be a part of it."
It was a race that was utterly dominated by Mullins, who trained the top four to the finishing post as Gust of Wind ran strongly to take fourth spot. It was a surprise however that his short-priced second favourite Blood Destiny never went with the leaders and simply couldn’t get going late on.
It was a perfect race for Lossiemouth to just run her natural race. Blood Destiny raced towards the front but Jupiter De Gite was very eager early on as he raced clear in the opening moments.
With three to go, Jipcot moved into the lead and Lossiemouth moved into contention on the outside. Lossiemouth then took the initiative as they came up the hill and although Paul Townend was chased by Zenta and Gala Marceau but managed to pull out into a healthy lead and then held off the onrushing Gala Marceau, who overhauled Zenta to finish second.
It was a brilliant performance from the favourite who looked like the class act in the field, even though she was pushed out wide on one corner. For Mullins, it was another winner and it has been a brilliant week so far for Paul Townend. He is on favourite Galopin Des Champs in the Gold Cup.
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🏇 Five runs
🥇 Four wins
🏆 G1 Triumph Hurdle
⭐️ Special performance