Willie Mullins 'buzzing' after Paul Townend rides I Am Maximus to victory at Grand National

Willie Mullins 'buzzing' after Paul Townend rides I Am Maximus to victory at Grand National

WATCH NOW: GB News speaks to fans at the Grand National 2024

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 13/04/2024

- 17:07

I Am Maximus won the 176th Grand National at Aintree on Saturday

Willie Mullins has paid tribute to Paul Townend after he rode I Am Maximus to victory at the Grand National at Aintree.

Townend has won the race for the first time in his career and finished ahead of Delta Work and Minella Indo.

I Am Maximus was the narrow favourite ahead of 2023 winner Corach Rambler, who unseated its jockey at the first hurdle.

The eight-year-old didn't get off to the best starts but took the lead in the final furlong and won by seven-and-a-half lengths.

Willie Mullins and Paul Townend

Grand National: Willie Mullins says he is buzzing after Paul Townend rode I Am Maximus to victory


Mullins now leads the way in the Trainers' Championship after scooping over £500,000 from the victory.

He was delighted to see the J.P. McManus-owned horse come out on top.

Mullins told ITV: "Paul Townend was super on him, the horse wasn't giving him a lot of help.

"We saw last year in the Irish Grand National we had supreme confidence in the horse that he had a bit in the tank. He was biding his time and he delivered.

"I didn't say anything until the last fence but then I let go. I love it, I'm buzzing, it's huge.

"As far as I know all of our team are back in good order so I'm very happy with that."

He added: "I was more confident looking at Paul's body language. I thought he was a little bit far back and he was rubbing the fences but Paul's body language told me he's happy.

"Aintree is the first race you see, it's the first race everyone in racing wants to see. Fantastic stuff, you just couldn't make it up."

McManus was overjoyed by the win, reflecting: "I love everything about the race.

"I love Liverpool, I love coming here. It's a very special race amongst special people."

Townend admitted it was a 'surreal' moment to finally ride a winner at the National.

He puts it above his other achievements, telling ITV: "What an unbelievable race and an unbelievable horse. It is a bit surreal, to be honest.


Paul Townend

Grand National: Paul Townend won the big race at Aintree for the first time


"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.

"I had the ones in front of me in my sights and he responded like I thought he would.

"Gold Cups and Grade Ones are special but Grand Nationals are different. You need so much luck. I am a lucky boy."

I Am Maximus

Grand National: I Am Maximus was the favourite at Aintree


Former jockey Andrew Thornton paid tribute to a 'dream' win for Townend.

He said on BBC Radio 5 Live: "What a performance. We were worried about him jumping left-handed but he took to the fences like a duck to water.

"He just took off and the way he hit the line so hard.

"That race is what every jockey dreams of winning. It was never in any doubt from the elbow."

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