Gold Cup winner Paul Townend looks ahead to the Punchestown Festival
I am really excited for the Punchestown Festival and can’t get wait to get going.
It’s a good meeting to top off our season and a very important occasion for us. I hope it’s one where I can be among the winners again.
I start the fixture on Quick Graban (4.20) who is a horse we’ve rated very highly all his career. He didn’t get much of a run at it last season and he picked up a little injury after winning the Royal Bond this season.
Obviously it’s going to be very hard to beat Klassical Dream, and we have Aramon and Mister Blue Sky in here as well. I just thought Quick Graban was the fresher horse coming here, with Aramon having been to Aintree and Cheltenham.
Dolciano Dici (4.55) has shown nothing this season. He started over fences, was very disappointing and wasn’t much better in a hurdle race at Cork the last day. He seems to have lost his way totally and as a result he looks up against it here.
I am really looking forward to riding Un De Sceaux (5.30). He won the Champion Chase here last year and any rain that comes will be a positive for him.
I didn’t think he ran too bad at Cheltenham. He is an 11-year-old now so he is not getting any younger. He will put up his usual run but it will be hard to beat Min who looked so impressive at Aintree.
I ride Drovers Lane (6.40) in what looks a fascinating race for the Champion Novice Chase.
Obviously Delta Work and A Plus Tard have the best form, but take them out and there is only a pound or two separating the rest of them. The likes of Getabird and Articulum are stepping up to three miles, which is interesting.
Drovers Lane has two nice runs and beat the horse that won the National Hunt Chase, Le Breuil, at Cheltenham in December.
That puts him bang in there with the likes of Discorama, but they all have to improve to the ratings to Delta Work and A Plus Tard.