Paul Townend: Energumene my best ride on opening day
Ladbrokes ambassador Paul Townend talks us through his four rides on day one of the meeting at Punchestown on Tuesday.
She ran well at Cheltenham when finishing third in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle. She stepped up to two-and-a-half-miles at Fairyhouse the last day and it just didn’t seem to suit her as she weakened up the straight. On her very best form she is going to take a bit of beating here.
She doesn’t seem to have progressed as much as we thought she would throughout the season but if the race the other day didn’t leave too much of a mark on her I think she will run really well. Party Central is the fresh mare coming into the race and looks the one to beat.
Sir Gerhard takes on Dysart Dynamo – two very exciting novices’ clashing here. The track will definitely suit Dysart Dynamo, he is a winner around there and is sure to give us a good gallop. He has schooled fine since his heavy fall at Cheltenham so I don’t think there is a whole lot between my horse and him.
Sir Gerhard was very impressive winning over two miles at Leopardstown and stepping up to show he stayed at Cheltenham as well. I am not worried about coming back to two miles. We will have a very good horse in front of us in Dysart Dynamo to try and pass so it won’t be easy.
He ran too freely at Fairyhouse over the trip so we will be changing tactics a little bit with him again. Hopefully that can bring about the improvement he was showing throughout the year. He had some very decent form at the top level and we think he is treated OK in the handicap. You can put a line through the run the last day, we just rode him wrong.
Energumene clashes with Chacun Pour Soi here. Energumene was obviously very impressive at Cheltenham, and Chacun Pour Soi got rid of Patrick down the back straight. Everyone knows how good Chacun is around Punchestown and around Ireland in general so it will be a massive clash.
I had to stick with Energumene. he is a Champion Chase winner and I would find it very hard to abandon him. He is the younger horse as well and I think he is my best ride on day one. It will be a fascinating race and I think this along with the Novice Hurdle will be huge races. I just hope I have picked the right ones.