Paul Townend discusses Thursday at the Galway Festival

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I have three nice rides for day four of the Galway Festival starting off with Wicklow Brave (2.35). He was very good in his first run over fences in Ballinrobe.

I am really looking forward to riding him. He seems to have taken to chasing very well. 

We all know how classy a horse he is. He is an Irish St Leger winner on the Flat and a Cheltenham winner. 

It’s an interesting race. Cool Colonnade carries a penalty and won well in Limerick the last day. Robin De Carlow has a mares’ allowance.

She is going forward but the trip might be on the sharp side for her. Zero Ten is an interesting horse declared again that won on Tuesday for Emmet Mullins.

Foveros (4.20) is the least known of my rides on the card. The J P McManus horse that beat him in Ballinrobe last time was second here on the first day so he didn’t do the form any harm.

My lad should build on the experience he gained. He is still learning about the jumping game, but I think he will improve again and run a nice race. 

Little Nugget won very well in a weak enough contest in Limerick on her first run and I actually rode Charles Byrnes’s horse Doctor Duffy at Cork the last day and finished second.

He jumps more like a chaser than a hurdler, but if he gets his jumping together there is a huge engine there.

I chose Shanning (4.55) in the Galway Hurdle first of all because she has a lovely weight.

She was far too free last year in the two mile six handicap on the Saturday and she stayed on to finish third. She was beaten a length by Ballyoisin in Listowel over two miles.

She has gained plenty of experience in these handicaps. I know she has been beaten off this mark and even a lower mark in these races, but she seems to be going the right way.

She was impressive when getting allowances of Pravalaguna in Killarney last week. I think she is off a competitive mark.

Riven Light is a classy individual who loves the track, albeit on the Flat. If he gets his jumping together and relaxes into a good rhythm he could be thrown in.

There are a lot of ifs, buts and maybes about him. I think my one just seems a little more straightforward and her work at home has been very good.

The other two have plenty of weight up the top. Sayo is obviously a classy individual but has been off the track for a long time.

It will be a tough task for him to take on these horses in such a competitive race without a prep run.

Stratum has plenty of weight. Conor’s 7lb claim will help him. He has promised to deliver in a big handicap and disappointed a few times as well.

He disappointed in the Northumberland Plate on the Flat the last day but if he puts everything together – he ran well in Punchestown in the good handicap the last day – he’s not be ruled out.

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.