Our ambassador Paul Townend previews his weekend rides at Fairyhouse
I have an early start at Fairyhouse on Saturday where I am looking forward to riding two of the stable’s Cheltenham Festival winners.
Monkfish (11.30) got beaten on his first run last season but ended the campaign on a high by winning the Albert Bartlett. We think he is going to be a better chaser than a hurdler. He has summered real well and matured plenty.
He is one of the more exciting novice chasers and hopefully we can get him off to the best possible start.
Concertista (13.01) was a very impressive winner of the Mares’ Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham last season.
She was going back there as a maiden. This looks an ideal starting point for her this year. Minella Melody looks the obvious danger and Queens Brook has a fitness edge.
Concertista couldn’t have been more impressive at Cheltenham. She has to give weight all round but we couldn’t be happier with her at home and think plenty of her.
Hook Up (13.36) only had two runs last year. Her first one was good behind Burning Victory. She didn’t jump well enough in Cheltenham. She ran okay for a while but faded out of it late on. Hopefully we will get a better run with her this year.
Gordon Elliott has an interesting runner Gars De Sceaux for J P McManus, who had one run in a point-to-point. We will have to keep an eye on him but Hook Up kept good company last year and this is a maiden so hopefully she can make use of that experience.
I start with Saint Sam (12.30) who is a winner of two in France and goes well at home. He has to give plenty of weight away to his rivals but he has loads of experience. We like him at home.
N’golo (13.05) has surprised us. Bar his run in Kilbeggan he has kept winning and seems to be improving the whole time. It won’t be easy as this is by far his stiffest test.
I was really taken with Ballyadam when he won last time and Noel Meade’s horse Cask Mate sets a good standard.
N’golo seems to be going the right way and is improving. He will have to improve again and maybe he can. He is jumping better now and getting the hangs of things. He’s not going to be favourite but deserves to line up on what he’s done so far on the track.
Voix Des Tiep (14.05) ran well for a long way in Punchestown until he got tired. He should come on for that and could be off a nice mark, going through his form in beginners’ chases.
It will need a career best to win but I think we haven’t got to the bottom of him yet. If he is a bit of a price he would be an each way bet.
The Hatton’s Grace will be all about the return of Honeysuckle. I ride Bacardys (14.35) who seems to start off his seasons very well. He is going there fresh.
He won the race in Navan last season fresh. We are hoping that works to his advantage but he has it all to do to beat Honeysuckle on his second in this last year.
Getaway Gorgeous (15.05) is very consistent and fit from running throughout the summer. She ran well again in Down Royal when she didn’t get the clearest of runs.
She is more exposed and has been put up a few pounds for finishing second in Listowel, but you can be sure she will give her true running again.