Paul Townend horse racing
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Paul Townend previews his weekend rides at Fairyhouse

| 02.04.2021

I have a busy three days ahead at Fairyhouse which climaxes with the Irish Grand National on Easter Monday.

On Saturday I start with Eden Flight (13.15). He’s been disappointing but I think the drying ground will be a help to him. He was running a nice race until he fell the first day and he’s been very disappointing since. At this stage we would like to see him run a race.

Fighter Allen (15.30) is similar in that he has disappointed a little bit since winning his maiden hurdle. We thought he would go on and improve plenty from that. Again we would hope for better on nicer ground. He shows us a lot at home. I hope he can see out the race better. I don’t think he has reached his full potential yet.

Ruaille Buaille (16.05) has been running okay. She will have learned plenty from her first run in a handicap at Leopardstown. She looked novicey in that, I suppose. She can come on from that and the form of the race is working out really well with Heaven Help Us and Telmesomethinggirl filling two of the first three placings. She has a bit to improve but she is definitely there with a big shout.


El Barra (13.50) ran a bit better the last day. He looked very good winning his bumper but disappointed in a couple of maiden hurdles since. This is a nice opportunity. We hit the crossbar the last day and something similar should put him in the mix.

Breakeven (14.00) is a course winner who has won a couple of point-to-points so the step up in trip will be no harm to him. Tom’s horses are in great form. We will need a bit of luck in running with a big field but I think he has a big chance.

Echoes In Rain (14.50) has done nothing wrong. She is learning the whole time and settling well. Belfast Banter gave her form in Naas a boost when winning the County Hurdle. I think she is on the improve. 

This is a big test for her with Noel Meade’s Thedevilscoachman the stand out one in the race.  Master McShee’s form with Appreciate It looks good as well. Echoes In Rain will have to improve again but I think she is going the right way.

I’ve stuck with Gauloise (15.20) again. It wasn’t an easy choice as I don’t think there is a whole lot between the three of ours. I don’t think she gave her true running at Cheltenham and I think she is one that will improve for stepping up to two and a half miles.

Royal Illusion was a very good winner of a maiden the last day and is rated very highly on the Flat. She is open to improvement again but I’m sticking with Gauloise.

Egality Mans (15.50) won over two miles in Naas the last day. I think he is crying out for a step up in trip. He did most things wrong that day, jumped up in the air and had a good look around. The step up in grade will make him concentrate a bit more. 

I think he is a nice horse going forward who is going to be a lovely chaser. If we could pick this up on the way, it would be brilliant. He is an unknown and again it wasn’t an easy choice between him, Frere Tuck and Power Of Pause.

Yukon Lil (16.25) was found a brilliant opportunity at Limerick the other day and has come out of that race really well. She has plenty of experience over fences now. I think she hasn’t shown her full potential over fences yet. The drying ground will be a help, even though she won on heavy ground at Limerick.

Asterion Forlonge (17.00) behaved himself at Cheltenham. I thought he might keep going a little better at Cheltenham, which disappointed me a bit from the second last, but at least he did everything right up to that.

We think two and a half miles is his trip. He is going right-handed, he’s had a clear round his last two days. This looks tailormade for him and I hope he can get back to winning ways here.




Paul Townend

Paul is an Irish jockey who competes in National Hunt racing and is an integral part of the famous and vastly successful Willie Mullins team. Paul was Irish jump racing Champion Jockey for the 2010-11 season and will be discussing his rides in a weekly blog with Ladbrokes News throughout the jumps season.