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I still have to pinch myself – Gold Cup hero

IRELAND'S all-conquering Cheltenham champions have arrived home to a hero's welcome, displaying a hoard of racing gold worthy of any St Patrick's Day rainbow.

Gold Cup-winning Lord Windermere arrived back home to a rapturous reception in the racing-mad village of Churchtown in north Cork. His trainer Jim Culloty and jockey Davy Russell proudly displayed their five Cheltenham gold tankards.

WINNING

DAVY HAS ONE TANKARD AS A GOLD CUP WINNING JOCKEY WHILE JIM NOW BOASTS FOUR – THREE AS A WINNING JOCKEY WITH BEST MATE AND NOW HIS FIRST AS A WINNING TRAINER.

It is a triumph that will transform Jim Culloty's fledgling racing operation at Mount Corbitt, some 4km outside the Churchtown.

"It's the best day of my career – you just couldn't dream it this good," the history-making trainer told the Herald.

"We took three horses to Cheltenham and we came home with the Gold Cup. I'm afraid to pinch myself in case I wake up and find out it is all a dream.

"Davy rode an incredible race. In fact, both jockeys were incredible at the festival with Robbie McNamara in great form too," he added.

Jim Culloty is now one of only four men to have been a Cheltenham Gold Cup winning jockey and trainer.

For his wife, Susie, and thrilled children, Art (9), Eliza (7) and Hugh (4), the excitement revolved around the fact they were finally home after the stress of the Cotswold venue – and that the latest Cheltenham Gold Cup tankard winner will proudly lead Churchtown's St Patrick's Day parade today.

For Jim and family it is now back to the bread-and-butter of daily life, though a celebratory trip to the pub will be in order for St Patrick's Day.

"Don't forget we have the Six Nations to celebrate as well - it has been a really good weekend for Ireland," the trainer said.

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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