Paul Townend previews his Sunday rides at the Dublin Racing Festival
It’s another busy day with seven rides, all for the Willie Mullins stable.
I’ve chosen Dysart Diamond (13.10) in the first race. She was a good winner in Leopardstown over Christmas. She has gone up 11lb for that, which isn’t ideal, but she wore a tongue tie for the first time that day and it seemed to do the trick. Maybe she has a little bit more improvement.
It’s a huge field with Henry and Rachael’s Telmesomethinggirl looking the obvious one. Lady Breffni made hard work at a very short price of winning a maiden last time but her run behind Flooring Porter before that was good.
It’s a very competitive mares handicap hurdle and I am just hoping my horse can improve a little bit again.
I thought Youmdor (13.40) was unlucky when coming down at the last when felt we would have won at Fairyhouse last time. I thought that was going to be very strong form through a line with Druid’s Altar. He was going to be a long way behind us that day, and wasn’t too far behind our other two at Christmas.
I thought he was the most forward of ours but it is going to be very hard to beat Quilixios anyway. Hopefully the fall hasn’t left any marks on him. His schooling has been good since.
Appreciate It (14.10) is facing a big field for a Grade 1 novice hurdle, which is not the norm. He is straightforward so the amount of runners won’t hinder him. We will be keeping it simple.
He seems in good order and hopefully he can back up his run at Christmas when I thought he was impressive. He impressed me on the day and when I have looked back at it since I wasn’t any less impressed. This will be a proper test so there will be no hiding places. Hopefully he sets the standard.
Koshari (14.40) was a winner in Cork over two and a half miles coming off a long break. He went up for that. I suppose he has been a bit of an unlucky horse but his form figures read well enough.
The fact he won after a break might mean he will have improved a little bit for the run. It’s a 100k handicap so it’s going to be competitive. Willie has any amount of runners in it but I’ve chosen the one with the form going into it.
Latest Exhibition has declared for the 2m5f novice chase and he will be the main danger to my mount Monkfish (15.10). The tongue strap first time on Latest Exhibition is interesting.
We are both dropping back in distance here but I wouldn’t swap mine for anything in this. Fils D’oudairies was behind Envoi Allen and ran a cracker in Fairyhouse the last day, but I think it’s between Monkfish and Latest Exhibition who I said at Christmas are two very nice horses.
Whenever they have met there has been very little between them. Any time you turn up and Latest Exhibition is there, you know you have had a race.
I had a choice to make in the Irish Gold Cup and I have gone with Melon (15.40). It was a good head scratcher and I spent plenty of time thinking over it. I went with Melon because I thought he might be the horse on the up.
Kemboy sets a very high standard and is rated 2lb above him, but I thought there was more chance of Melon improving a bit more.
Bapaume (16.10) put in a good run behind Daly Tiger on his first run in Punchestown. That worked out a good race but he was never at the races in the Christmas Hurdle in Leopardstown, never able to land a blow at all.
He would have to leave that disappointing run behind him, which is a worry coming into a competitive race like this. All that being said, he is a class horse and he could bounce back.