Paul Townend: The Nice Guy has chance at Naas
Ladbrokes ambassador Paul Townend has seven rides this weekend, four at Fairyhouse on Saturday and three at Naas 24 hours later, and the jockey gave us his thoughts on their prospects.
He put in a very good run behind Bob Olinger, which was his first run this year. He was in tough company in the Grade 1 in Leopardstown so now drops back to a beginners’ chase.
The trip and ground should be ideal for him. It’ll be an easier task than it was the last day so hopefully he can belatedly get the first win of his chasing career.
This wasn’t an easy choice. Allegorie De Vassy, Braganza and Grangee are also very good mares. Braganza was a bit disappointing last time and has a bit to prove so I have gone with Brandy Love. She is a course winner. I think the step up in trip will suit her.
Grangee will find the return to mares company will suit her. Allegorie De Vassy was visually impressive on her first run for us. I could easily be on the wrong one but I have stuck with the mare I have got the feel of and won on.
He had a good run with Brian Hayes in Navan. He wasn’t beaten too far and he will improve from that. He had a very good first run for us although his second run last year was disappointing. He doesn’t have to improve much on his latest run to go one better.
He was a very good Flat horse but has been disappointing. He had a very high rating on the Flat but he hasn’t transferred that to jumping. He’s an enigma, to be honest.
I have gone with Stattler here. I was very taken by his chasing debut. He showed a lot of promise in his novice hurdles but I think he is going to be a better chaser.
Vanillier is going to be hard to beat but I like Stattler a lot. I think he has improved on last year when he was running in good company. I think he is made for fences. This will be a stiffer test than his beginners’ was, but I think he is capable of more.
He is not getting any younger being nine now. He had an OK pre run with Jack Foley in a handicap in Fairyhouse back in November. He has come on for that. Is he improving at this stage? Probably not. Petit Mouchoir looks the one we have to beat and he is 11 now. Saint Felicien is probably the unexposed improver.
He looks a smart horse. He was very good in his bumper in Leopardstown over Christmas and could easily have stayed in bumpers and not gone hurdling yet. But he is a seven-year-old now and it’s time to kick on. I certainly wasn’t complaining when that decision was made because I think he is a good recruit to our novice hurdle team.