'Stiff' Townend misses Sunday action following National spill

Rider was going well in big race on Pleasant Company

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Paul Townend gave up his three booked rides at Fairyhouse after being unseated in the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree.

Townend was partnering last year’s runner-up Pleasant Company in the world’s most famous steeplechase and was still bang in contention when his mount made a bad mistake four fences from home.

Although not seriously injured, he opted to sit out the action on Sunday.

Townend’s agent, Ciaran O’Toole, said: “He’s just a bit stiff after getting the fall.

Townend hit the headlines last month after providing his boss Willie Mullins with an elusive first Cheltenham Gold Cup success on board Al Boum Photo, while on Friday he enjoyed his first winner over Aintree’s Grand National fences on Cadmium in the Topham Chase.

He looks looks set to be crowned Irish champion National Hunt jockey for a second time this season, having recently ridden his 100th winner of the campaign.

Townend is expected to return to the saddle when National Hunt racing in Ireland resumes at Limerick on Thursday.

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