Grand Bornand, Paul Townend
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Paul Townend: Grand Bornand must improve to beat Ciel De Neige at Punchestown

| 12.02.2022

Ladbrokes ambassador Paul Townend has six rides this weekend evenly split between Naas and Punchestown on Saturday and Sunday, and he talked us through their chances of success this weekend.


Feigh – 1.05 Naas

I have three rides at Naas on Saturday, starting with Feigh in a four-year-old hurdle. She doesn’t have her mares’ allowance here which isn’t going to help our case. She is gaining plenty of experience though and her last run is possibly her best run.

Ben Siegel couldn’t lie with the best of the juveniles in Ireland last weekend so he will be more competitive at this level. You also have Gordon Elliott’s Ebasari whose form got a boost with Adamantly Chosen winning very impressively on Thursday. He’s on a retrieval mission but that form in Cork looks very good. It won’t be easy for Feigh but she’s going the right way.

Hi Ho Phoenix – 1.40 Naas

I ride Hi Ho Phoenix in the Auction Novice Hurdle. He was impressive winning over a longer distance at Fairyhouse at the start of my season this year. It’s not going to be ideal dropping in trip but he qualifies for this race and that is why he’s going there. Unfortunately, so does Journey With Me who has a huge reputation and his maiden form is rock solid so he will take a lot of beating.

Brooklynn Glory – 2.15 Naas

I finish off by riding Brooklynn Glory in a maiden hurdle. She was a faller at Fairyhouse on her last run. The drop back in trip shouldn’t be a worry and with a clear round, I hope she will be in contention. It’s a maiden hurdle and there’s a couple you can make cases for including Noel Meade’s Harald Hardrad, a bumper winner. However, with a clear round, I think we will be right in the shake-up.


Grand Bornand – 2.10 Punchestown

I start Sunday on Grand Bornand and he’s the horse that broke the fence in Leopardstown over Christmas. I have made sure to school him since then. He has jumped fine but just that mistake in such a competitive race, he was never able to recover from it. On all known form, he has to improve to beat Ciel De Neige.

Grand Bornand, Paul Townend

I was lucky enough to ride Ciel De Neige the last day for Mr McManus and he is an unbelievable jumper. He is dropping back in trip which won’t inconvenience him too much. He has the experience, loves jumping fences and I think he will be very hard to beat.

Stones And Roses – 2.40 Punchestown

I ride Stones And Roses in the Grand National Trial and I think it is a very competitive race. The Big Dog is potentially the most improved in the race but he was disappointing in the Welsh National last time. My horse is a course winner over 3m1f and the one thing in his favour is that he will love the trip, but he has gone up 13lbs so it won’t be easy.

Deploy The Getaway – 3.10 Punchestown

He’s been a tricky servant and isn’t the most straightforward but we think he is a maturing sort. Hopefully, he can behave himself and he is growing up on the job.

I think Largy Debut is one that came out of his maiden hurdle causing the biggest upset beating Kilcruit. He flopped himself at Christmas, but again Henry’s horses weren’t exactly firing and they’re starting to run better now. It’ll be interesting to see what he can do. However, as I said I think our horse is getting the hang of things and he is my best chance of a winner on the day.

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Warren Barner