Kemboy, Paul Townend
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Paul Townend: This track seems to bring out the best in Kemboy

| 03.02.2022

Ladbrokes ambassador Paul Townend previews his rides at Leopardstown on Saturday

Bronn – 1.05 Leopardstown

I ride Bronn in the first race of the festival. I think there is room for plenty of improvement from his maiden hurdle win at Naas. He was green enough and the form of that race has worked out with Flame Bearer winning well at Fairyhouse since.

He will have to take a big step forward to beat Hollow Games and Minella Crooner. I think Gordon Elliott holds the aces in this race. As our novices go, Bronn is open to most improvement.

Vauban – 1.35 Leopardstown

Vauban is an exciting horse. We were very disappointed when he was beaten on his first run at Punchestown. That form has worked out with Pied Piper at Cheltenham so Gordan has a good line though the form with him.

Our lad will improve from his first run. His jumping was a bit sticky the last day, but he has schooled well since. We do lack experience stepping into a Grade 1 field. Fil Dor has been there and done that so it’ll be tough for him.

Whatever he does this weekend, I think he will improve again for it. Icare Allen is probably the forgotten horse of the race. He was impressive winning at Christmas.

Blue Lord – 2.10 Leopardstown

I’m not surprised that Riviere D’etel is now joint-favourite with my horse. I thought she wasn’t getting the credit she deserved for her run at Christmas. We have to give her 9lbs. She has all the experience but she has had a lot of racing to get that experience for a young mare.

It’ll be interesting to see if that race at Christmas has left its mark on her. If it hasn’t, she will definitely be a force to be reckoned with.

Blue Lord was very impressive in his maiden and in his next run at Naas so hopefully we can take the step forward to Grade 1 company. He ran in good races against good opposition last year over hurdles and I think going chasing has improved him and that is why I have gone for him over Haut En Couleurs and Saint Sam.

Both of them were equally impressive in their beginners’ chases. It is a small field and there’ll be no hiding places. Jack will go forward on Riviere D’etel I would imagine and Saint Sam likes to get on with it as well. I think it’ll be a straightforward race, but very competitive.

Kemboy – 3.15 Leopardstown

I am confident about our chances here but respectful of the opposition at the same time. Frodon brings an extra bit of spice to the race.

This track seems to bring out the best in Kemboy. He wasn’t beaten by far at Christmas and at this stage of his life, Frodon might help him. In years gone by, he’d have probably hindered him. If he had a bit of company at Christmas, it would have helped me in the early part of the race. It’ll be interesting to see if I am right or completely wrong with that.

Minella Indo is on a bit of a retrieval mission. You’d forgive him for his run in the north, but he had a hard race in the Ladbrokes King George, as did Frodon. He is a Gold Cup winner though, so he has to be respected.

Mt Leinster – 3.50 Leopardstown

We are into handicap company. His jumping is improving is the best way of looking at it. He looked good around here when he was third behind Haut En Couleurs. He has a bit of experience now and looks to be off a nice mark.

Paul Townend’s Sunday preview

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Andrew McDermott