Paul Townend excited by Allaho chances in Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup
Ladbrokes ambassador Paul Townend gave us the lowdown on his five rides on the second day of the Punchestown meeting where he expects a big performance from Allaho in the Gold Cup.
He was a disappointing bumper horse. He won a point-to-point and the switch to jumping has brought about a lot of improvement in him. He has won over this trip at Gowran and the ground is no worry to him. I think he is a big shot and the one to beat. There are plenty of horses in here with form but our lad is an improver and we couldn’t be happier with him.
He promised plenty all last season. He was running a big race here when he fell at the last in a Grade 1. He has a lot of experience now. The ground was probably too heavy for him in Cork the last day and better ground will suit him. I think Nicky Henderson’s horse has a big chance in this race, but hopefully my horse can show us the promise he showed last year and he is sure to run a big race.
He was a very impressive winner at Cheltenham. He is unbeaten in four starts, he’s not exposed by any means, and is a horse going the right way. He will take on the two Minellas here; Minella Crooner and Minella Cocooner, whose form ties in together at Leopardstown.
I think this track will suit Minella Cocooner better than Cheltenham where he ran very keen and was taken on in the early part of the race. I just thought The Nice Guy was well on top of him and I would be surprised if they could turn that form around with him.
He is back trying three miles. He put in a massive performance winning the Ryanair at Cheltenham for a second year running. If he is going to get three miles, we think he will get it around Punchestown. He loves the track.
It is a very hot race though. Clan Des Obeaux won the race last year and was very impressive at Aintree. Fakir D’oudairies won at Aintree, and then there is the Gold Cup runner up Minella Indo. Al Boum Photo is a dual Gold Cup winner although doesn’t look to be at his best of late and Tornado Flyer was a good winner of the Ladbrokes King George but pulled up at Cheltenham.
It will be the race of the week. I think Allaho is the horse they have to beat if he gets the trip. He’s a stronger horse now and it’s hard to look past the performance he has put up in the Ryanair in the last two years.
He was well fancied for the Topham at Aintree and didn’t jump well enough or take to them. Hopefully he is happy back over normal fences. He is a very good horse in his own right and won a Galway Plate last year. The big worry is carrying top weight. He has the ability, and hopefully the experience around Aintree hasn’t left any marks on him. He has schooled well since.