Paul Townend looks ahead to his rides at Navan and Thurles
We’ve had a few days off but we are back in business this weekend at Navan and Thurles when I have a small but select group of horses to ride.
We start on Saturday at Navan with Face The Facts (12.30). It’s been well documented that a lot of ours are needing their first run and he is no different.
We were disappointed he got beaten the first day but he should have come on a lot for that. He will appreciate the two and a half miles and a big track.
There are a couple in here with bits of placed form as well as him.
Jessie Harrington’s horse Discordantly stayed on nicely at Cork last time. He will probably have to improve again and one of Noel Meade’s Diol Ker was third in a Leopardstown maiden so that’s a decent level of form.
We will be hoping the way ours are improving from their first run that Face The Facts can get off the mark with a bit of luck.
Ronald Pump (1.35) is declared on Sunday as well but I would imagine that is a back-up in case something goes wrong on Saturday. That’s his first preference as far as I know.
He has taken a massive hike in the ratings due to an impressive win the last day at Fairyhouse.
He drops back to two and a half here but that shouldn’t be a problem for him. He seems to have loads of pace.
With a horse like this that is improving, it’s hard to tell where they will stop. This is a big step up in grade but the manner in which he won the last day was very taking.
I don’t know a whole load about Cap’n (3.20) and it’s hard to get a reading of his form. He ran in some very high class Flat races and hurdles and was definitely out of his depth in them.
It’s his first run for Paul Flynn. Paul is happy enough with him. He won a chase in England but we will know more Saturday evening.
As I said Ronald Pump (1.00) will hopefully run on Saturday as he looks wrong in the race at Thurles on Sunday which is a bit hot for him.
Assuming that’s the case I will start the day on Lareena (1.35), not to be confused with Laurina, in the two mile handicap hurdle. We had her at Willie Mullins’s so I know her quite well. She has changed hands now.
She had a run back for new connections at Limerick on soft ground where she wasn’t disgraced. She’ll appreciate the better ground here but I think the two miles will be very sharp for her.
I ride Total Recall (2.20) in the Grade Two Chase which is a good ride to have. Obviously he won the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury last season when he gave us a big day out. He wasn’t going to be disgraced in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last year when he tipped up.
He went on and was fancied in the Grand National at Aintree and we were beaten after jumping three fences. He just didn’t take to it and that probably left its mark on him at Punchestown after that.
You couldn’t have been happier with his run back at Tramore behind Al Boum Photo. He is well treated at the ratings here. I think he has a big chance and is the one they have to beat.
If I were to pick negatives in him the ground could be a bit lively for him over two and a half miles, but that would be nit-picking. I would be surprised if he can’t put up a big show.
I have Camelia De Cotte (2.40) in the Grade 2 Mares’ Novice Chase. She has lots of experience gained over fences, she loves jumping them. She has probably surprised us how much fences have improved her. She was impressive in Cork the last day.
Meri Devie, an ex-Willie Mullins runner now with Paul Nolan, impressed me in Naas on her first run over fences.
On her Flat mark and hurdles form she is definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with and looked a natural over fences. A change of scenery seems to have brought her back to life.
She will take a lot of beating but we have a lot more experience. Camelia De Cotte was very good at Clonmel two runs ago when a mistake early on seemed to put her out of the race and she came back to win.
We would be hoping she can put up another good performance. She won a graded race the last day so anything she does now is probably a bonus.
They are good rides and if one of them can win it would be great, anymore a bonus. I would be hoping Total Recall can go very close.
If he can improve anything from the run at Tramore it would put him bang there. Everyone knows he is a classy horse so well be hoping for the best.