Successful on Glens Melody in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle, Townend delivered the Rebecca Curtis-trained grey to lead on the run-in after Horizontal Speed had taken the field to the last, to complete a big-day double.
There were several in with chances at the final fence, but Irish Cavalier (11-1) came out on top as he strode gamely up the hill to win by two and a half lengths from 6-1 favourite Thomas Crapper.
Generous Ransom (8-1) was half a length away in third and Horizontal Speed (12-1) was fourth.
Curtis said: “I always fancied him for this, but it didn’t look like he was going to win halfway through the race. I knew if he got a bit of light he would stay on up the hill.
“He’s crying our for three miles and I could have put him in the chase earlier in the day, but we would have been taking on seasoned handicappers so I decided to stick to the shorter trip against novices.
“I don’t think the cheekpieces made a huge difference as he stayed on here the last time without them.
“He had been running on heavy ground all winter and I think he wanted better ground even though he handles soft, as he’s a better horse on good ground.”