Paul Townend – Grand National Jockeys 2024 To Watch

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Townend claimed his first Grand National win in 2024, riding I Am Maximus to victory in the historic Aintree contest. Widely acknowledged as one of the best National Hunt jockeys in the world, Irishman Paul Townend has won many of racing’s most elite contests. His talent for delivering on the biggest stage has produced a monumental hall of 34 wins at the Cheltenham Festival, six of which came at the 2024 meeting in March. His profitable partnership with trainer Willie Mullins has seen him ride some of the best jumps horses of the past decade, including two-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Galopin Des Champs. He’ll go to the Grand National Festival at Aintree in fine form after grabbing the top jockey title at Cheltenham 2024.

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Who is Paul Townend?

Paul Townend is a highly accomplished Irish jockey known for his exceptional talent and victories in some of horse racing’s biggest contests. Born in County Cork, Ireland, Townend hails from a family with deep connections to the sport. His father, Tim Townend, is a former jockey and trainer. Townend possesses a natural aptitude for riding and quickly rose through the ranks of the racing world. After claiming his first win over jumps in July 2008, he quickly established himself as one of the top riders in Ireland.

Townend and powerhouse Irish trainer Willie Mullins have a long-standing and exceptionally successful association. He has ridden numerous Mullins horses to victory at prestigious meetings such as the Cheltenham and Punchestown festivals. He has partnered with some of the most iconic horses of the past few years, including the legendary Hurricane Fly and the multiple Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo. A Grand National win is one of the very few racing accolades missing from his list of honours. His best finish to date came in 2023 with Gaillard Du Mesnil, who finished 3rd.

Throughout his career, Townend has amassed an impressive collection of major race victories, earning him widespread recognition and respect from both the racing media and fans. His riding style is characterised by precision and a deep understanding of the sport, making him a formidable competitor on the racecourse.

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Paul Townend Grand National Record

Townend’s Grand National Debut came in 2009 when he rode Irish Invader to eleventh place at Aintree. After a few near misses he won his first Grand National last year on I Am Maximus. The details of all his Grand National runs are listed below.

YearHorseTrainerSPFinishing Position
2024I Am MAximusWillie Mullins7/1JF1st
2023Gaillard Du MesnilWillie Mullins10/13rd
2022Burrows SaintWillie Mullins33/1Unseated at Fence 15
2019Pleasant CompanyWillie Mullins12/1Unseated at Fence 27
2018Total RecallWillie Mullins7/1FPulled Up at Fence 29
2017O’Faolains BoyRebecca Curtis50/1Pulled Up at Fence 30
2016Boston BobWillie Mullins25/1Pulled Up at Fence 22
2015Bob FordRebecca Curtis50/1Pulled Up at Fence 29
2014Prince de BeaucheneWillie Mullins20/116th
2013Quel EspirtWillie Mullins40/1Pulled Up at Fence 23
2012On His OwnWillie Mullins14/1Fell at Fence 21
2010Arbor SupremeWillie Mullins16/1Unseated at Fence 15
2009Irish InvaderWillie Mullins16/111th
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Paul Townend 2023/24 Jumps Racing Record & Notable Wins

The current jumps season started in April 2023 and will conclude after the Grand National in April this year. A jockey’s form is one of the various ways you could find the winner of the Grand National. Paul Townend continued to ride for big-name trainer Willie Mullins this season and retained his Top Jockey title at this year’s Cheltenham Festival. He was under substantial pressure going into the meeting, as he was booked to ride several heavy favourites. However, he delivered on most, winning six races and again proving he’s one of the best riders in the sport.

His complete record and notable wins from the 2023/24 campaign are listed below.

Paul Townend 2023/24 Jumps Record

CountryRidesWins2ndEven Stake
Ireland28311259-32.6
UK2080+8.5
Total30312059-24.1

Stats listed are correct at 10am on 11th April 2024.

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Paul Townend 2023/24 Notable Wins

DateHorseSPRaceGradeVenue
31/03/24Jade De Grugy7/4FHoneysuckle Mares’ HurdleGrade 1Fairyhouse
16/03/24Mister Policeman30/100FPierce Molony ChaseGrade 3Thurles
15/03/24Galopin Des Champs10/11FCheltenham Gold CupGrade 1Cheltenham
13/03/24Ballyburn1/2FNovices’ HurdleGrade 1Cheltenham
12/03/24Lossiemouth8/13FMares’ HurdleGrade 1Cheltenham
12/03/24State Man2/5FChampion HurdleGrade 1Cheltenham
04/02/24State Man2/5FIrish Champ HurdleGrade 1Leopardstown
04/02/24El Fabiolo4/11FDublin ChaseGrade 1Leopardstown
03/02/24Galopin Des Champs1/3FIrish Gold CupGrade 1Leopardstown
27/01/24Lossiemouth4/7FInternational HurdleGrade 2Cheltenham
27/01/24Capodanno7/2Cotswold ChaseGrade 2Cheltenham
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Paul Townend Biggest Career Race Wins

Paul Townend is widely recognised as one of the best jumps jockeys in the world. He has several outstanding victories, many of which came in elite Grade 1 contests. His list of achievements includes multiple wins at the year’s most significant jumps meeting, the Cheltenham Festival. He rode Mullins-trained superstar Galopin Des Champs to consecutive Irish Gold Cup triumphs in 2023 and 2024 and to a Cheltenham Gold Cup win in 2023.

Here’s a longer list of the biggest horse racing wins of Townend’s career to date.

DateHorseSPRaceGradeVenue
15/03/24Absurde12/1Irish Gold CupPremier HandicapLeopardstown
12/03/24Gaelic Warrior2/1FCounty Handicap HurdleGrade 1Leopardstown
03/02/24Galopin Des Champs1/3FIrish Gold CupGrade 1Leopardstown
19/04/23I Am Maximus8/1Irish Grand NationalGrade AFairyhouse
17/03/23Galopin Des Champs7/5F Gold CupGrade 1Cheltenham
14/03/23El Fabiolo11/10FArkle TrophyGrade 1Cheltenham
04/02/23Galopin Des Champs3/10Irish Gold CupGrade 1Leopardstown
16/03/21Ferny Hollow11/1 Champion HurdleGrade 1Cheltenham
02/02/20Kemboy2/1Irish Gold CupGrade 1Leopardstown
28/04/19Al Boum Photo9/2Punchestown Gold CupGrade 1Punchestown
15/03/19Al Boum Photo12/1Cheltenham Gold CupGrade 1Cheltenham
12/03/19Klassical Dream6/1Supreme Novices’ HurdleGrade 1Cheltenham
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Paul Townend Grand National FAQs

Has Paul Townend won the Grand National?

No, a win in the Aintree Grand National is one of the very few achievements missing from Townend’s impressive racing resume.

Has Paul Townend won the Irish Grand National?

Yes, Paul Townend claimed his first victory in the Irish Grand National in 2023, riding 8/1 outsider I Am Maximus to an impressive win.

Which horse will Paul Townend ride in the 2024 Grand National?

Paul Townend will ride I Am Maximus in the 2024 Aintree Grand National for Irish trainer Willie Mullins.

What is Paul Townend’s biggest horse racing win?

Townend list of wins is extensive and includes multiple Grade 1 triumphs at the most elite jumps meetings on the planet. Most racing fans would pick his Cheltenham Gold Cup wins as the highlight of his achievements. He guided Al Boum Photo to Gold Cup triumph at the festival in 2019 and repeated the feat with Galopin Des Champs in 2023 and 2024.

How much does the Grand National winner get?

The Grand National’s winning jockey gets a share of the prize money awarded to the winning horse’s connections. In recent years, the prize fund for the Grand National has been around £1 million, with the winner bagging a significant portion of that. The exact amount the winning jockey gets will vary depending on the arrangements made between them and the horse’s owner.

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