Paul Townend discusses his rides at Down Royal and Cork

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I ride Scheu Time for James Nash in the 1.55 at Down Royal, who won at Ayr last week.

He looked like he was going to win at Aintree last year when he fell late on under Katie Walsh. I am hoping for a big run out of him in a very competitive handicap.

I then ride Double Portrait for Stevie Mahon in the 3.40 Handicap Chase. He won two runs ago at Ballinrobe but was disappointing last time out.

Being realistic, we are hoping he can run well and maybe get placed. He would have to improve on everything he has shown to win here.

On Sunday, I’m in Cork and my first ride is on Robin De Carlow for Willie Mullins in the 1.35 Novices’ Hurdle.

She surprised us when winning in Limerick the last day, beating Awayinthewest. She is learning on the job the whole time and continues to improve.

I don’t think she will have to improve a whole lot more here to be competitive again. The step up to three miles shouldn’t inconvenience her.

Ruby Walsh will ride Getareason here as well who will have to leave a poor run in Limerick behind him. I hope my ride will be there or thereabouts.

Next up, I am on Dark Outisder in the 2.45 Handicap Chase. He has run well around Cork before but he would have to improve plenty to win realistically.

In the 3.50 Handicap Hurdle, I’m on I Will Follow for Martin Brassil. He drops back to two-and-a-half miles after disappointing over three miles at Listowel.

He was very free that day and had his excuses. This trip will suit him a lot better. If you excuse the run at Listowel, I think there is a day in him somewhere. At a big price, he is a good each-way bet.

Looking further ahead, people are starting to ask me what I am looking forward to for Cheltenham. I am really excited to see how Laurina progresses.

I got to ride her all last year and she is very special. I was lucky to win a couple of Grade 1’s on Next Destination as well last season.

He looks a chaser so it will be interesting to see how he takes to fences and see how far he can go.

Paul

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Paul Townend

Paul is an Irish jockey who competes in National Hunt racing and is an integral part of the famous and vastly successful Willie Mullins team. Paul was Irish jump racing Champion Jockey for the 2010-11 season and will be discussing his rides in a weekly blog with Ladbrokes News throughout the jumps season.