Paul Townend has a quartet of rides for Willie Mullins this weekend

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I am looking forward to seeing Laurina return to Sandown. I was lucky enough to ride her in all her winning races so far and I hope she can fulfill all her potential throughout the season. 

I have four rides this weekend but they look to be four nice rides. I start by riding Fast Buck in a Maiden Hurdle at Cork (12.50) for Willie Mullins.

He had a couple of nice runs in France on the flat, showing a decent level of ability. He ran on soft ground over there one day and was second so he should handle the ground.

The worry is that he gives away a lot of weight to younger horses in this race but it looks a nice opportunity for him.

He goes well at home so we are hoping he can put up a nice display and then see where we are going with him.

I ride Clinton Hill then in a three mile Maiden Hurdle (1.25) for Willie again. He has very decent form in bumpers which ties in with Dunvegan, who was impressive in a Maiden Hurdle recently.

He went on to win a good bumper at the Punchestown Festival so this looks a nice opportunity for Clinton Hill.

We’ll be disappointed if he’s not there or thereabouts. Of my four rides, he is the one I am most hopeful of winning.

Onto Naas on Sunday, I ride Queens Boulevard (12.50). Her first two runs in bumpers were good.  She ended up pulling up then in a listed race in Gowran which is a bit of a worry.

She was very free that day. She was beaten a long way in another listed bumper in Navan since, so she has to put her best foot forward to recapture her best form.

If she can do that, we’d be hopeful of a nice run as she jumps well at home. Barrington Court looks the one to beat. Her run behind Relegate in Naas the last day is the most superior form in the race.

My last ride is Come To Me in the Grade 1 Lawlor’s Novice Hurdle (1.50). It’s a very hot renewal of the race again and a lot of good horses have won this in the past. I won a two mile maiden on him in Cork and I was very impressed with him.

He felt like the real deal to me and I don’t think the step up in trip will inconvenience him too much.

Obviously Tornado Flyer brings impressive form here as well and looks very hard to beat.  He won over two-and-a-half- miles on his first time out at Punchestown.

Battleoverdoyen won well at Navan also. They’re probably the two most fancied horses in the race but to be honest I like my own.

He couldn’t have been impressive at Cork and if he can’t win I think he’ll be there or thereabouts

As for New Year resolutions I don’t really have any. I suppose it is to stay safe and ride as many winners as I can!

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.