Paul Townend: Vauban can deliver Punchestown coup
It’s the final day of the Punchestown meeting and Ladbrokes ambassador Paul Townend talked us through his four rides on Saturday.
She will love the trip but in all honesty she has been very disappointing since she joined our stable. She fell early enough in the Grand National. Her jumping will have to be better than it has been on her last few runs for us. She made a mistake at the first in the Thyestes Chase as well and that put her out of the race.
If we can get her into a rhythm, I think she has a little each-way chance. Top weights haven’t a great record in this so she is up against it in that sense. She has the blinkers back on her and hopefully she will be able to show some of that form she showed for Mags Mullins when she trained her.
Epatante is the stand-out mare in this. She is a previous Champion Hurdle winner, she was very good winning at Aintree as well and proved she will stay the trip.
Marie’s Rock, Mrs Milner, and Stormy Ireland were first, third, and fourth in the mares race at Cheltenham and that form is rock solid. Danny rides Stormy Ireland, who he gets on really well with.
Burning Victory is a fortunate Grade One winner, winning the Triumph Hurdle when Goshen went at the last a few seasons ago. She is much better on the flat then she is over hurdles. I am two from two on her, she is a course winner earlier in the season, and if she puts it altogether, she isn’t without a chance. However, on all known hurdle form, she looks up against it.
He is a hugely exciting horse, who has progressed with every run over hurdles. He isn’t the finished article yet but he was well on top in winning the Triumph Hurdle and a reproduction of that should be good enough. If we get a bit of luck with him, I think he will be very hard to beat.
There are 25 runners in this big handicap hurdle so it will take a lot of luck. My horse has a lot of natural ability. He won the Land Rover Bumper last year on his first time out, was second to two smart horses on his first two runs over hurdles and then won on his third run by 27 lengths at Thurles.
I think he is on a fair mark if he gets a bit of luck in running. He ran well for a long time and gained a lot of experience in the Martin Pipe, but just got tired from the last home. I don’t think we have seen the best of this horse yet. I think he has every chance of putting it altogether on Saturday.