Paul Townend revved up for Energumene battle with Shishkin in Champion Chase
Paul Townend relishing Shishkin battle on Energumene
Picking between Energumene and Chacun Pour Soi ahead of the Champion Chase was nearly impossible. I didn’t make up my mind until the last minute. I have just gone with the younger horse, Energumene, for the rematch. I love Chacun Pour Soi but he disappointed here last year and he has disappointed every time he has crossed the pond.
There are a few different things pointing me towards Energumene but I could be on the wrong one. I am happy with my choice and if he doesn’t win, I really hope Chacun does. Going on Ascot, I would have to give myself a real chance against Shishkin. We were only a length behind him that day and the experience of that race will stand to him.
Sir Gerhard is a real live chance in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle. I am not worried about him getting the trip, he’s a Grade One winner over hurdles. He made a couple of mistakes at Leopardstown the last day but has schooled well since that. Journey With Me looks a progressive horse for Henry De Bromhead but if everything goes right for Sir Gerhard, it is ours to lose.
I ride Gaillard Du Mesnil in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase and he has been very disappointing over fences. His last run was probably his best run. He’s still a maiden over fences but he is getting the hang of it now. He steps up in trip to three miles and is improving. He has a lot to find with Capodanno, who I think will run a big race.
Bravemansgame is the obvious favourite but our form ties in with him from last year, it’s just he seems to have stepped forward over fences and ours hasn’t. If he can recapture that level of form, he is a big each-way price. Looking at the race and how it might be run, it might suit us. I can see him running into a place if he puts everything right.
In the bumper, I am on Redemption Day. I have ridden him for a few bits of work. He has a lovely attitude which is something you have to consider with the bumper horses coming over. The place shouldn’t phase him and touch wood he will get into a nice rhythm.
He’s a very quick horse and I think he has a big chance. It would have been very hard for Patrick to get off Facile Vega after what he has done but I know he rates my horse very highly. I haven’t ridden a whole lot of the other bumper horses there, I tend to just pick Patrick’s brains on those.