Paul Townend
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Paul Townend roars into Cheltenham with six rides on day one

| 11.03.2019

I was hoping to get a couple of winners over the weekend to come to Cheltenham off the back of so to get three including the big one, the Leinster National, on Sunday was nice.

I got to Cheltenham on Sunday night for the calm before the storm. The horses seem to have travelled over well and everyone seems happy. I am itching to get going now.

I am not exactly easing myself into the meeting. I have six rides starting with Aramon (1.30) in the Supreme.

He is what he is, a Grade 1 winner, who was just touched off the last day in Leopardstown. He has his chance but the English look very strong this year. There isn’t a whole lot between Willie Mullins’s pair. There never is.

He is an each way chance and if he can run into the first couple we would be delighted with him.

He is an improving horse from where he started in the summer to the level he has got to now. He will probably have to improve a bit again but there is no reason he can’t.

Duc Des Genievres (2.10) was impressive in Gowran. He handled the slower ground well.

That was over two and a half miles but a strongly run two miles should suit him as well. He was here last year so has experience of the track.

Glen Forsa looked very good at Sandown and will be very hard to beat. Lalor, if you forgive him his run at Sandown, was very impressive around Cheltenham early on in the season.

Bar them it looks open enough and Duc Des Genievres definitely has a chance of making the frame at least.

Up For Review (2.50) ran a cracker in the Thyestes on his first run back.

He will have to improve on that. It was his first run in a handicap. He will appreciate any rain. It looks wide open and he is probably an each way chance.

Melon (3.30) was second last year and is now back with cheekpieces fitted for the first time. He has been to Cheltenham twice and been beaten twice but ran well there.

He hasn’t shown any of that form yet this season, which is a worry, but hopefully Cheltenham can reignite him.

He has it all to do to beat the two mares and Buveur D’Air but we just hope he can leave this season’s runs behind him. Rain won’t inconvenience him.

I ride Stormy Ireland (4.10) in the Mares’ Hurdle. I was very happy with her run behind Laurina at Punchestown the last day.

Benie Des Deiux is going to be very hard to beat and Limini has a very high level of form too and ran well behind Presenting Percy last time.

I just thought Stormy Ireland is a younger mare who can be best of the rest.

Solomn Grundy (4.50) is an outside ride. I rode him in his first run for Henry de Bromhead and he ran a cracker in Navan. He ran very well in Leopardstown but disappointed the last day.

The drop back in trip will suit him. He is a maiden over fences and it would be a nice place to lose his maiden tag.

We will be needing a lot of luck to have a winner. I’ve lots of bits of chances with no stand out horse.




Paul Townend

Paul is an Irish jockey who competes in National Hunt racing and is an integral part of the famous and vastly successful Willie Mullins team. Paul was Irish jump racing Champion Jockey for the 2010-11 season and will be discussing his rides in a weekly blog with Ladbrokes News throughout the jumps season.