Paul Townend previews his six rides at Gowan Park and Navan this weekend
Ladbrokes ambassador Paul Townend has six rides this weekend, four at Gowran Park on Saturday and two at Navan on Sunday, and the two-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner gave us the lowdown on their prospects.
Blinkers first time will be a help for him. He’s a Galway Hurdle winner. I suppose his last two runs have been very poor. The likes of Quilixios, Darasso and Teahupoo are going there with solid runs behind them.
On ratings though, Saldier is the one they have to beat if he can leave those last two runs behind him. He is working well at home. At Christmas he made a bad mistake behind Klassical Dream so there were excuses. All his best form is over this distance so hopefully he can reproduce it.
This is an outside ride, although I’m not going far in riding for Emmet Mullins. He was well fancied over course and distance last time. Plenty of money came in for him and he only finished fourth. He is inexperienced and he can only improve for every run he has. His runs have been getting better. Emmet is not a trainer to turn down as he knows the time of day.
He doesn’t win often but he has been at the top table for a long time. This race should suit him really well. He is in good form at home. Hopefully he can add to his small number of wins here and ratings suggest he should. Everything is in his favour so I am hoping for a clear round.
Blue Sari has had a few decent runs over fences without winning. He had a very poor season last year but seems in much better form this time round. A reproduction of his two runs should put him there or thereabouts. Grand Paradis has had similar runs in beginners and it looks like it is between the two of them.
She was a winner last time. The trip and the ground will be fine for her. She has plenty to find with Joseph O’Brien’s mare on ratings. I think there is no reason to think she can beat the rest and if something happens to the favourite she could be there to pick up the pieces.
He climbed up the ranks last season in no uncertain terms. This looks like a big ask for him as there is a better level of competition. He has only run once this season and that was in a novice chase so we will see how he fits after this race against some of these proven hurdlers. He is still an exciting horse and who knows if he has finished improving yet.