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AINTREE: Jockey Paul Townend on I Am Maximus clear The Chair to go on and win the Grand National Steeple Chase on the final day of the Grand National Festival horse race meeting at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, north-west England, on April 13, 2024. – AFP
AINTREE: Jockey Paul Townend on I Am Maximus clear The Chair to go on and win the Grand National Steeple Chase on the final day of the Grand National Festival horse race meeting at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, north-west England, on April 13, 2024. – AFP
I Am Maximus gives Townsend maiden Grand National win

AINTREE: I Am Maximus added the Grand National to his Irish National win last year to give trainer Willie Mullins his second victory in the world’s greatest steeplechase at Aintree on Saturday. Paul Townend termed himself “a lucky boy” after he steered the co-favourite to an ultimately easy win in an Irish 1-2-3 with Delta World second and Minella Indo third. Whilst Mullins won with Hedgehunter in 2005 it was Townend’s first taste of victory in the historic race. “What an unbelievable race and an unbelievable horse,” said Townend. “It is a bit surreal, to be honest. I ended up being first to the first and got to the Melling Road and he backed back.

“He got careful on the second circuit but I was trying to conserve energy. I didn’t get the clearest run between the second-last and last.” He added: “I had the ones in front of me in my sights and he responded like I thought he would.” Townend and Mullins add the Grand National to their Cheltenham Gold Cup success with Galopin des Champs in March but for the jockey this was vastly different. “Gold Cups and Grade Ones are special but Grand Nationals are different. You need so much luck. I am a lucky boy.” – AFP

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