Irish jockey Paul Townend handed ban for his part in confusingly chaotic finish 2 years ago

Irish jockey Paul Townend handed ban for his part in confusingly chaotic finish

What on Earth was Paul Townend doing?

Davy Russell and The Storyteller were victorious at the Growise Champion Novice Chase on the opening day of the Punchestown festival. However, the win isn't what everyone was talking about after the race. The main talking point from the race was Paul Townend on Al Boum Photo.

At the second to last fence, favourite Monalee blew the race wide open by falling and unseating Invitation only. This left it Townend's race to lose.

And boy did he lose it in a blaze of glory.

Out in front, Townend looked back at the chasing pack before steering sharply off the track. He went crashing through the rail, but not before taking Finian's Oscar out. Townend was handed a 21-day ban and was forced to forfeit his riding fee for dangerous riding.

"That is as dramatic an incident as you're ever going to see in Punchestown in a Grade One."

Gary O'Brien in the At the Races studio simply could not make sense of what he was seeing. His commentary perfectly encapsulated the confusion that ensued during the bizarre finish.

"I have absolutely no idea what happened going into that last fence. Your guess is as good as mine. The Storyteller's won at odds of 16/1, but Al Boum Photo, with the race seemingly at his mercy after the fall of Monalee two out. I just do not know what's happened here."

"And coming to this last fence, Paul Townend looks around... and I just have absolutely no idea what's happened. Did he get a shout that he was to go around the fence? It looked a conscious decision to take the horse out. He went out, took Finian's Oscar out as well. It was looking as though we were going to have a Willie Mullins winner. It's Gordan Elliott who's ended up winning the last of the day's three Grade Ones."

"Did he get a shout from behind? He looks behind. I have absolutely no idea, but it looked as though Paul Townend thought for some reason he had to go round the last fence and 

Madness. Absolute madness.