Our racing ambassador Paul Townend discusses his weekend rides
I will be riding at Fairyhouse and Punchestown this weekend.
I start at Fairyhouse with Youmdor (12.00) who was very impressive in Gowran. I liked him a lot that day. I’m not sure it was the strongest juvenile hurdle but he couldn’t have been more impressive.
This will be a stiffer test. Gordon Elliott’s horse Teahupoo and Gavin Cromwell’s Just D’id, who have come from France, are both unknowns. They looked very impressive in France and will make us work for it.
Manitopark AA (13.05) will have to settle better than she did at Navan. The run will have brought her on plenty. She wears a hood which will be a help but she will have to settle. She obviously has ability to have won in France.
Fan De Blues (14.15) has a lovely racing weight. It’s as competitive as you can imagine for a 75k handicap. He had a spin over hurdles over three miles over Christmas and drops back to two miles here.
I am not sure he will want the ground as heavy as it is going to be but hopefully the light weight will counter that so he can run well. He doesn’t make a habit of winning but hopefully he can get his head in front this time.
I start by taking on Envoi Allen with Asterion Forlonge (12.50) who made a silly mistake when he tipped up at Limerick for no reason over Christmas. He jumps fine and just took his eye off the fence and tipped over.
We can’t say anymore about Envoi Allen. We are getting a lot of weight off him which I think brings us right into it, as 11lb on heavy ground is a lot for any horse to give away and I’m not sure Envoi Allen has taken on anything of the ability of Asterion Forlonge yet.
We can only ride our race and hope we are good enough. I was impressed with Joseph O’Brien’s horse Fils D’oudairies when he won the last day. He is a horse going the right way and he can run a lot better than his price would suggest.
Ganapathi (13.20) had one run and won for us at Cork. The form of that race doesn’t seem to be working out.
The horse that was second was beaten since but ran well in defeat. We hope this guy can improve plenty.
He probably won when a few of ours were taking the run so hopefully that is a sign that raw ability got him through that day. He is getting a few pounds off a few of these which helps.
Frere Tuck (13.50) wears a tongue tie first time and I think that will help. I was in big trouble in Navan from halfway. I looked after him and he came home well enough. That said a horse wearing a tongue tie on very heavy ground isn’t ideal.
Klassy Kay (14.20) got a good hike for winning the first day for us. She got turned over in Clonmel but I hope she can still be competitive. The handicapper is making life tough for her and she will have to be improving to keep up with her mark.