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Paul Townend discusses Min and weekend rides at Fairyhouse and Navan

| 13.12.2019

It was nice to get Min’s season off to a good start when he won the John Durkan at Punchestown last weekend. I suppose Willie Mullins is strong enough in the 2m-2 ½ mile division so it will be up to him on deciding what’s next.

Un De Sceaux ran very well the day before at Sandown. It is probably too soon to go again with Min at Christmas but I am sure we will see him between Christmas and the Dublin Racing Festival.

I have one ride at Fairyhouse on Saturday on Monkfish (1.40). To be honest, he was bitterly disappointing on his first run. It was hard work for him the whole way around. Albeit he was second, we never thought he was going to win.

The step up in trip here and the run under his belt will be a huge help to him. I will be hoping for a massive improvement from him. It looks a winnable race and we will be disappointed if he we can’t go one better.


I have three rides at Navan on Sunday, starting with Blackbow (11.30). He was one of the first of our horses to run this year. He needed that run badly in Naas.

I hope he can progress enough from that to win here. It is a hot maiden hurdle with a Gordon Elliott/Gigginstown ex-point-to-pointer in there who cost a lot of money. That’s Mr Lingo, and then you have Sizing Pottsie for Jessica Harrington also lining up. It won’t be easy but I hope he can progress enough to win here.

Sayo (12.30) has been a bit disappointing so reverses to hurdles here which will be a help for him. He just wasn’t in love with jumping fences. He was good the day he won at Galway but any other day, his jumping left a bit to be desired.

I hope his confidence hasn’t been knocked too much. He is fit from running over fences and although he has an awful lot of weight here, I think he will be a nicer hurdler than he was a chaser. It will be interesting to see what his confidence is like.

Et Dite (1.00) ran the same day as Blackbow in Naas. She was going off a very long layoff. She is a filly we like a lot and it looks a nice opportunity here for her. We will forgive her first run, but she needs to step up now and I hope she can.

The Christmas period is so busy and there is plenty of homework to be done with top class racing at Limerick, Leopardstown, and Kempton.

I did a good bit of work this morning to try and get a handle on things. We have to assess everything, find out where horses are going and then I will try and go where I can have the most winners. St Stephen’s Day is the busiest day on the calendar.

It will be very interesting to see if Chacun Pour Soi goes this Christmas. He is the talking horse and what he did at Punchestown last year speaks for itself. Faugheen will probably run in the Grade 1 Novice in Limerick. Laurina was also very good in her Beginners’ at Gowran Park.

 I mean there is so much to look forward to and hopefully we can split them up in the right way so I can ride the majority of them. In the Ladbrokes King George, Footpad is probably the most likely runner of ours.

He was very good at Thurles and Daryl Jacob’s misfortune the other day at Musselburgh means they will be looking for a jockey so I will be throwing my name into the hat there as well. It is an exciting time of year.




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.