Gold Cup-winning jockey Paul Townend swaps golf for gardening

Two weeks ago, Paul Townend was enjoying one of the finest days of his career when winning his second Cheltenham Gold Cup on Al Boum Photo.

The first back-to-back winner since Best Mate in 2004 helped Willie Mullins to become top trainer at the meeting for the seventh time.

But since the memorable day in the sunshine at Prestbury Park, all racing in the UK and Ireland has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jockeys have been taking on part-time jobs to help their self-employed income, with meetings not set to resume for several weeks at least.

Here Ladbrokes ambassador Townend, who rode more winners than any other rider at Cheltenham 2020, reveals how he is keeping busy during the outbreak, as well as talking about his interests out of the saddle:

What will be the first thing you will do after lockdown?

Play a round of golf and go for a drink.

What are you doing to keep occupied during the pandemic?

Gardening at the moment.

Have you taken up any new hobbies?

Gardening is my new hobby. I am very upset that the golf course is closed though.

Biggest rival in the weighing room

Rachael Blackmore at the moment especially during the title race last season.

Jockey who winds you up the most

Slippers Madden, closely followed by David Mullins.

Funniest jockey

None of them! They all think they are funny but they’re not!

Favourite horse

Al Boum Photo of course, and Hurricane Fly.

Favourite track

Leopardstown and Punchestown.

Favourite moment

My first Gold Cup win.

If you weren’t a jockey what would you be?

A gardener!

Favourite movie

It was The Greatest Showman but Bohemian Rhapsody is my new number one.

Favourite food

Crisps – any flavour.

Favourite sports star

Tiger Woods

What do you listen to in the car?

I listen to any sports-related to podcasts and then the music depends on whatever mood I am in.

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