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Press Release 12th March 2024 Cheltenham



Tuesday 12th March

Trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Paul Townend brought up a 5.7-1 treble on Champion Day when Lossiemouth landed the Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle.

Paul Townend told ITV Racing: “She’s brilliant. It’s well documented, the route she’s come. They’ve given her time, been patient with her and they are getting paid off for that now. She was very good here last year. I suppose with the rain coming, there was a question mark about her stamina, but I never really doubted it. I knew I had to settle her early and she was actually very settled down the middle of the track the first loop… it was push-button stuff.

“It is pretty simple when you’re riding very good horses. It’s a funny place, this. It is very easy to ride when you're on a good one, and it’s very difficult when you're not going well. I'm privileged to be riding these horses. And the privilege is definitely not lost, I know how privileged I am.”

The jockey added: I had a target on Rachael’s back and she was going well from a long way out. She was always going to bring me into the race and she’s run well in the race before, so I knew what I was following.

Any day you come here with a winner is huge and I wouldn’t be here without Willie. From the first day I had a ride here he’s brought me through nicely and I’m just the fortunate one that gets the rides as everyone at home does all the work.

Asked about pressure: “I was relatively okay last night - probably the best I’ve been, as the choices were made. It’s the two weeks before that are as bad as anything as you are trying to work out what Willie is going to send where and figure out everything.

It’s brilliant to get today over but tomorrow is another day. Nobody cares about today tomorrow.

“These colours have been very good to me. They’ve been very loyal to us and we’ve had some brilliant days with some brilliant horses. They put a lot into the game and they deserve to be in here (the winner’s enclosure).”

Willie Mullins told ITV Racing: “She is a Champion Hurdle mare, I think. Once again, Paul was just so cool on her. She can improve, she can go on, a year older, running like that in that ground, the way she jumps, she's got everything.”

Asked if he wishes he had run Lossiemouth in the Champion Hurdle, Mullins said: “No, not at all. We made the right decision, end of story, because she didn’t get a grueller in the Champion Hurdle. She won as comfortable as she liked, she’s only five, and getting a grueller in the Champion Hurdle as a five-year-old mare isn’t what you should do with them.”

Asked if the French Champion Hurdle would still be the aim, he replied: “Not really, I’m not keen for that at all, no. She’ll be trained for Punchestown, and then I’ll chat to Rich and Susannah and I imagine the Champion Hurdle.”

On El Fabiolo ahead of tomorrow’s Champion Chase, Mullins said: “He’s in great order, I sort of wish it was today – he’s in that sort of form.”

Winning owner Rich Ricci said: “It's fantastic. Unbelievable. One hundred per cent I’d like to bring her back here next year - that's been the plan. Let’s see if she is up for it and able for it, but that is the plan. She’s been wonderful to own, and she’d be undefeated if she hadn’t run into trouble at Leopardstown last year, and I’m delighted with her. We’ve been very lucky with our mares. She’s brilliant.

“You can say anything you want to in hindsight [about not running Lossiemouth in the Champion Hurdle]; we had a plan and we stuck to it. Hopefully we’ll be able to do it next year. We’ve won the Mares’, it’s a Grade One and I’m delighted.

“I’m not quite sure where she will run next. I imagine Punchestown; maybe Aintree. I’m not sure the French Champion Hurdle is something I’d entertain, but maybe. We’ve taken our time with her; I’ve been very proud that we’ve been so disciplined and, hopefully, that patience will continue to yield results on the track.”

Henry De Bromhead, trainer of the second (Telmesomethinggirl), third (Hispanic Moon) and fourth (Lantry Lady) said: “It was incredible. They all ran really well and I’m delighted with them. They are owned by big breeders and it’s brilliant to get them Grade 1 black type.

“It was brilliant to see the way that Telmesomethinggirl travelled into the straight, but obviously the winner is very good and all credit to her as she was brilliant. She’ll probably be covered now this year.

“It was a brilliant run from Hispanic Moon. She was bought as a broodmare but they wanted to race her and she’s won a Grade 3 and a Listed race and now she’s placed in a Grade 1. Langtry Lady is the one for the future, definitely. That was only her third start and Jack (Kennedy) said she just got a little bit lost at the start. She’s probably a three-mile mare in time, so I’m delighted.”


4.10pm Close Brothers’ Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 3f 200y

1 Lossiemouth 8-13 Fav

2 Telmesomethinggirl 22-1

3 Hispanic Moon 40-1

11 ran

Distances: 3, 9½

Time: 5m 10.38s

31st winner at The Festival for jockey Paul Townend

97th winner at The Festival for trainer Willie Mullins

22nd winner at The Festival for owner Susannah Ricci


Ireland 4

Great Britain 1


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