Last year Jody Townend completed an incredible comeback from injury to win the Connacht Hotel (QR) Handicap in Galway.

Now she's gunning for back-to-back victories on Great White Shark in Monday’s feature at the Galway Races.

In October 2018 the Cork jockey broke her T12 vertebrae, an injury which kept her out of action for nine months due to a number of setbacks.

"I had to have six crews and two rods put in, which got infected," said Townend. "I needed three operations and ended up having to get all the metal taken out. 

"Thankfully it’s all A1 now. It was a long road at the time. I was on a drip for six weeks after the last operation."

Willie Mullins and Jody Townend after last year's victory

Galway was only Townend’s fourth ride back but it turned into a day she would never forget. Riding on Great White Shark for Willie Mullins, she landed the feature race by over a length.

"It was mad to think I could go and win a GPT after being through all that," she said.

"It was a great way to get back on the road.

"I wasn’t really thinking about it until I passed the line. I put my head down and thought, 'did that actually just happen’. It was just magic."

Townend returns to Ballybrit seeking another remarkable victory on the opening day, but how does she assess her chances?

"I’ll keep dreaming anyway, it would be class," she said. "To win it two years in-a-row would be asking a lot but we’ll give it a good go."

Watch the first day of the Galway Races on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player from 5:30pm on Monday