Paul Townend, horse racing
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Paul Townend excited by Leopardstown rides on Boxing Day

| 23.12.2021

Ladbrokes ambassador Paul Townend is at Leopardstown on Boxing Day and he took time out to discuss the prospects of his four rides, and give his thoughts on the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton.

Leopardstown 12pm – State Man

He is a lovely horse that came from France. He has one run over hurdles in Auteuil and was second to Busselton. He then subsequently ended up at Joseph O’Brien’s so he has the experience to call upon. All the maidens in Leopardstown over Christmas are going to be hotly contested but we think we have a nice horse going there with him.

Leopardstown 12.35 – Sir Gerhard

Everyone knows who this horse is by now. He’s a point-to-point winner, he jumps well, his work at home has been lovely, and it’s just exciting to get him started in his jumps career.

Sir Gerhard

Hopefully he can have a better start than Kilcruit I suppose. There is no certainty that he can turn up and win but there are no negatives with him.

Leopardstown 2.20 – Ferny Hollow

It is the first Grade 1 that I am going to be riding in over Christmas and he is a really exciting horse. We haven’t seen a whole lot of him obviously, but his form is there for everyone to see and he’s beaten Bob Olinger.

It will be tough to give 13lbs to Riviere D’etel but if Ferny Hollow is going to be what we hope he can be, he should be winning this. It’s not a penalty kick by any means but he couldn’t have jumped any better at Punchestown.

Leopardstown 2.55 – Fan De Blues

He has been running really well and consistently throughout the summer and into the winter. He has a lot of weight to carry but I think the two wins that he got during the summer really built his confidence.

He was giving a lot of weight away to Bois De Clamart at Gowran the last day and was second to him so that gives him a shout. I would like to be at the other end of the weights but he is up there for a reason.

Ladbrokes King George VI Chase

Obviously I am not going to Kempton for the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase as I decided to stay in Leopardstown instead for a fuller book of rides.

However, I give Asterion Forlonge a chance if you can trust him. Although he didn’t win the John Durkan, he was probably the horse to take out of that race. If he puts it altogether, there is an engine in there and I will be cheering him on. I think if everything goes right, it will really give them something to think about.

Lostintranslation is an interesting one for me as well. If he’s back to his best, which Tizzard’s horses look like they are, then he could be overpriced.

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Author

Warren Barner