Paul Townend discusses his Saturday rides at Thurles

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I have three rides at Thurles before we break for Christmas. You could say it’s the calm before the storm. Everyone looks forward to Boxing Day’s racing from when it will be pretty busy.

My first ride is the filly Strange Notions (2.00) for Charles O’Brien who I haven’t ridden before.

Being realistic, what she has done on the Flat wouldn’t excite too many people. She was only rated 53.

But her two runs over hurdles are an improvement on what she has done on the Flat.

She is definitely up against it but we are clinging to the hope she has something to offer from those two runs over hurdles when she was behind two Willie Mullins horses that I know pretty well.

Her second run was an improvement on the first and hopefully she can improve again. It’s a small field and she will need to run better than she has shown to win.

I rode Scheu Time (2.35) two races ago at Down Royal and he fell the last day at Ascot when he was quietly fancied.

If the fall hasn’t left any impact I think this is a good opportunity. He didn’t run badly in the north and he had won the race previous to that so if he is over the fall he can produce a respectable run.

Stay Humble (3.10) is stepping up to 2m7f and I think that will definitely help.

I was impressed with Gordon Elliott’s horse Western Honour when he won the maiden hurdle at Clonmel, where he stayed on to beat one of ours, and the extra distance won’t hinder him either.

He is probably less exposed than our horse but the step up to this trip will hopefully bring a bit more improvement out of Stay Humble.

I think Western Honour could be tough to beat. He looks less exposed and potentially could be a better horse than ours.

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.