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Cheltenham Winners: Paul Townend Rides Absurde into First in the County Hurdle on Friday

Under the guidance of Willie Mullins, the six-year-old defied 12-1 odds, with Paul Townend steering him expertly through the field, thwarting the 7-2 favourite L'Eau Du Sud's attempt to add to Dan and Harry Skelton's impressive week.

Cheltenham Winners: Absurde Clinches the Win in the County Hurdle on Friday
Cheltenham Winners: Absurde Clinches the Win in the County Hurdle on Friday

Absurde, ridden by Frankie Dettori to Ebor victory last year and a Melbourne Cup contestant, clinched a remarkable win at the Cheltenham Festival in the County Hurdle on Friday.

Absurde: Stats
Age6 (Foaled 4th May 2018)
TrainerW P Mullins
SexGelding
SireFastnet Rock
DamIncroyable
OwnerH O S Syndicate

Under the guidance of Willie Mullins, the six-year-old defied 12-1 odds, with Paul Townend steering him expertly through the field, thwarting the 7-2 favourite L'Eau Du Sud's attempt to add to Dan and Harry Skelton's impressive week. Mullins celebrated another triumph, his eighth of the week, following Majborough's earlier success in the Triumph Hurdle.

Pied Piper secured third at 14-1, Magical Zoe was fourth at 8-1, and Afadil took fifth at 40-1.

This marked Townend's fifth 2024 festival victory and his fourth County win.

"I loved that," he remarked.

"Honestly, it was incredibly satisfying. It's amazing for a horse to traverse the globe and return to deliver such a performance on this terrain. The pace was leisurely, sparking an early race as competitors sought position, aware of the slow tempo. Based on his flat racing history, I believed he had the speed to outpace them all, provided he adapted to the terrain, though the ground conditions were concerning. Taking a risk paid off, and occasionally, it's rewarding to do so."

Representing the H O S Syndicate, Andrew Heffernan expressed his elation:

"It was an extraordinary performance. The ground posed a question, but we're thrilled. Paul held back before making his move, and Absurde never faltered."