Paul Townend: Al Boum Photo has a shot at Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris
Ladbrokes ambassador Paul Townend is on the continent this weekend and has three rides booked at Auteuil, the venue for the French Grand National.
He talked us through their prospects on Saturday and Sunday.
She is very well treated, carrying 10st3lbs. She has the experience of being around Pau before we got her and that will stand to her. Her run at Punchestown was very good at the festival with Danny Mullins on board, so hopefully she can put up a good show. I don’t know that much about the opposition obviously, but we couldn’t be happier with our horse.
This is their equivalent of the Champion Hurdle. It is 3m1f, as opposed to the two-mile Champion Hurdle in Ireland and England. He was disappointing at Cheltenham but came back and won another Grade 1 at Punchestown. The ground should be fine for him. He schooled well there this morning I am told.
On all form we have to go by, he is the best of the three of ours. We have to give 4lbs to the French runners. I think he fits the bill for over there, although the trip is an unknown. He will also have to behave himself as he can get worked up before some of his runs.
He behaved at Punchestown though. We won’t know until we try but the preliminaries over in France are a funny set-up. You have the option of jumping a hurdle beforehand. Hopefully we can keep the lid on him before the race and if he can behave himself throughout, he will run a good race.
I ride Al Boum Photo in the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris. The fences in France are similar to a cross country race so it will be interesting to see how he takes to them. He was raced in France before we got him so he jumped a lot of these before I would imagine. They are happy with how he schooled this morning.
He is a dual Gold Cup winner and that is the standard of horse you need to win a Grand Steeple. I have ridden in a couple before. He will stay the trip which a lot of horses don’t and hopefully we can get into a good rhythm on him. His run at Punchestown behind Allaho and Clan Des Obeaux seems to be as good as there is around. I am really happy with him and hopefully he takes to the course and gives us a good spin around.