CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL NEWS: PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES FOLLOWING GALOPIN DES CHAMPS VICTORY IN THE BOODLES CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP
Friday 17th March
Winning trainer Willie Mullins said: “We had such confidence in the horse and we nominated him for the Gold Cup as we thought he was a Gold Cup horse. A lot of people were saying he is not (a Gold Cup) horse as he had too much speed and no stamina but he had won over three miles as a novice and I was happy if a novice can do that over hurdles at that age they are only going to get stronger as an older horse and I think there is plenty of stamina.
“It is mind blowing. I can’t comprehend the numbers I have in training at home and I can’t comprehend the quality of horse we have at home. It is something that we never would have dreamt off. Until I got my licence if someone would have said to me you will have 60 horses every day for the rest of your training career I would have grabbed that because top trainers like Fred Winter, Fulke Walwyn, David Nicholson never had more than 60 or 65, and you were lucky if you got a Grade One horse every year, or two maybe. Since being at Closutton every day I go through the barns and I pinch myself. We don’t take it for granted and I say to Jackie we know what we had. We are in awe as you guys are when you come down on press days to see what horses are around the place and the quality of them.
“It is fantastic to win a Gold Cup. Al Boum Photo and this fellow are both up there (in list of achievements). It would look like that (being a top quality Gold Cup). I’ve not seen the times but they looked to be going a good hard gallop. I’d say the horses that had a chance saw their only chance was to test Galopin Des Champs stamina. The Irish Gold Cup was run at a very slow pace and he used his speed to win there as there was about six horses still there at the second last. I think he could have won there easier if there more of a pace but he wasn’t really tested there but he was tested today. I think so (seeing more improvement) as he is only seven and horses do improve until they are eight or nine so I’d like think there is a little bit of improvement there.”
Successful jockey Paul Townend said: “I suppose he got me out of trouble to be honest. The first circuit didn’t go smoothly. I got in a nice rhythm on the second circuit and he showed a lot of class to come from where he did. I was further back than I wanted to be as it was a messy start. I got a bit of luck with the faller that fell outside of him. When we turned down the hill and I picked the bit up in his mouth he came alive.
“I had full believe in the horse to be honest and he has matured a lot and grown up a lot and his work had been good. He showed his true ability today.
“From where I was I was always going to be the last one coming on to the scene and I was happy to see them come off the bridle one by one in front of me turning in and that allowed me to a chance to fill my horse up after making up a lot of ground. Luckily we met the last on a good stride and he went away and galloped away through the line.
“The hardest thing in this game is to get on the horses. There are a lot of lads in there doing it and I’m in the fortunate position that I get to throw my leg over them.
“You have to have confidence in the horses from riding them at home and when things go wrong we move on and we can forget about a race before it and ride the next race as it comes.
“I try not to get too high or too low. The fright I got last year was when he was caught in the reins. When I rolled over and saw him like that the relief I had when he was actually okay measured up to the fall. We got a bit of luck with Burning Victory previously and we got a bit of luck there today as well.”