Galopin Des Champs, Paul Townend
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Paul Townend previews Sunday rides at Dublin Racing Festival

| 05.02.2022

Ladbrokes ambassador Paul Townend is riding in five of the eight races at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown on Sunday and he spoke to us about their prospects.

The two-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner is on board Galopin Des Champs and Chacun Pour Soi in the second and third races, both of which are sponsored by Ladbrokes.

Galopin Des Champs – 1.20 Ladbrokes Novice Chase

Galopin Des Champs was so impressive over Christmas. He’s one of the most exciting horses we will see over the weekend.

Take nothing away from what he did over Christmas, but this is a much harder race for him. You have Beacon Edge, Fury Road, and Master Mcshee in here. His performance at Christmas was faultless, and if he can repeat that, we will take an awful lot of beating.

Chacun Pour Soi – 1.50 Ladbrokes Dublin Chase

Chacun Pour Soi deserves to be the odds-on favourite on his Irish form. His two biggest disappointments have been in England. He seems to be fine after missing his intended target here at Christmas.

Chacun Pour Soi, Tingle Creek Chase, Paul Townend

Every time I get to ride the horse, I just love it and riding him is an electric feeling. If he shows up, he wins in my book. It is interesting to see Tingle Creek winner Greaneteen come over, but I think our horse on home turf is a horse to be reckoned with.

Blackbow – 2.25 Leopardstown

Blackbow ran a cracker over two miles at Fairyhouse. It was his first run back in handicap company. He steps up to 2m5f here and I don’t think that will hinder him too much. He can only have come on from his first run of the season but it is a super hot contest. You have The Shunter and Fakir D’alene thrown in there to name just two.

We are carrying a lot of weight but he is a horse who has promised a lot throughout his career and hopefully he is going to fulfil his potential. He looked that way the last day, but it was just Dunvegan who was too good for him and we know how good that horse is. If he reproduce that again, he will be in the mix.

Echoes In Rain – 3.00 Leopardstown

I ride Echoes In Rain here and he has a lot to find on form. We will try again. She wears a tongue strap for the first time which will be interesting.

This race revolves around the unbeaten Honeysuckle. Nobody knows where the end of her talent is. We will give it a shot but we will be up against it. We would definitely need a career best to be coming home in front.

Appreciate It not showing up is the one disappointment I have coming into this weekend and hopefully it’s the last one. He is in good form. I haven’t spoken to Willie this morning about it, but he decided not to go here but hopefully we can dethrone her at some stage.

Sir Gerhard – 3.35 Leopardstown

This race will give us a lot of pointers for Cheltenham. He won around here at Christmas in a maiden hurdle and I think he is one of our leading novices. Hopefully he can go and win on Sunday and we will know a bit more and decide what way we will go in March.

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Author

Andrew McDermott