Townend's on top at Tramore as Jody gets off the mark under rules
The rain took no prisoners at Tramore on Monday evening and nor did Jody Townend on big brother Paul as, not long after the 20-year-old notched her first success under rules aboard her father's Port Rashid in the 2m maiden hurdle, she beamed: “I beat Paul!”
Townend not only bettered her brother, a former champion who rode Willie Mullins’ 9-4 favourite Winter Soldier in the race, but she also demonstrated a polished style in the finish to narrowly get the better of Cheltenham Festival-winning rider Keith Donoghue on Hurricane Volta in second.
She said: “It’s brilliant to ride my first winner and it’s great to ride it for Dad. I’ve had three point-to-point winners so far this season so, thank God, I’m getting going eventually.
“I’m at home working with Dad and I ride out for Willie Mullins on a Tuesday – it’s good to be riding those good horses once a week as well. Hopefully we can keep things rolling.”
Paul Townend, who was keen the win wouldn’t be taken away, and was busy reminding his sister to weigh in, was relaxed as soon as the success was written in stone and said: “It’s a brilliant day for the family.”
He added: “I’d prefer if I was riding it of course, but no, it’s great for them and I’m delighted for her.
“Jody does a lot of work at home with Dad and it’s a big day for her. She’s also riding out one day a week at Willie's as well and she’s after picking up another ride tomorrow [aboard Positive Approach in the Ladies National at Fairyhouse] so things are picking up quite nicely. I'm proud of her.”
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