Paul Townend remembers Wicklow Brave and talks Galway on Sunday
I start by riding Kalanisi Og in a Mares Maiden Hurdle (1.05) for Willie Mullins. She is a previous winner at this course already 12 months ago, winning a bumper that day and she ran ok on her next run at Gowran Park last month.
She will have improved a lot for the first outing of the season and we think she will take a lot of beating here. Gordon Elliott’s mare Mount Ida looks like she will give her the most to do.
My next ride is on Sumos Novois (2.15) for Leon Burke. He is top weight and has to give a lot of weight away to other horses in the race but he runs very well fresh and will like the soft ground.
He has taken part in all the big handicap chases throughout the year and at the age of 11 I hope he is as enthusiastic as ever.
It’s a competitive handicap chase but with the form Liam Burke’s horses are in he can run very well I hope.
I ride in a Novice Hurdle (3.25) then for Willie Mullins on Foveros. He’s only a four-year-old, like Willie’s other runner in the race, Quartz Du Rheu.
Foveros won at the Galway Festival over the summer already. The ground is a little bit of an unknown but we hope he can handle it.
Pakens Rock was very impressive when winning a Novice Hurdle here the last day. Hopefully if Foveros handles the ground he has a chance. He is an improving horse and he can go onto better things. Although I think the other horse is very nice as well.
My last ride of the day is on Pivotal Flame (4.00). Danny Mullins won on her last time out and she has gone up 7 or 8 lbs for that.
The ground is a bit of an unknown for her but they think she will handle it and she is off a nice racing weight. She comes here on the back of a win so that’s always a plus.
It was a very sad day in America last weekend when we lost Wicklow Brave. He was a huge servant to the yard and to me personally.
I had a lot of big days on him including winning a County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and riding him in a Classic on the flat. That was a big day in my career.
I will miss him a lot; he was a real warrior. A quirky horse, with loads of ability and it will be hard to replace him.
On another note I wish David Mullins the best after his bad fall yesterday.