Paul Townend has five rides on St Patrick’s Day at Cheltenham

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It is set to be another busy day for me at Cheltenham with five rides on day three of the meeting.

I begin in the JLT Novices’ Chase in which I ride Real Steel (1.30). He has done nothing wrong since he tipped up on his first run over fences at Leopardstown, winning his next two.

This is a big step up in grade from what he has been beating over fences. I don’t think the ground will inconvenience him too much. All his wins have come on right-handed tracks so that would be a little worry.

I can’t wait to ride Un De Sceaux (2.50) in the Ryanair. The more rain that comes the better. I think he is in great form. He won the race in 2017 and has only been out of the first two once ever when he completed.

He is a real, solid horse and I hope he can put up another good performance. I think he is the forgotten horse of the Ryanair, to be honest.

Ruby has picked Footpad. I suppose Footpad is the up and coming horse whereas Un De Sceaux is pushing on.

He seems to be showing all his old enthusiasm at home and over here so we are hoping for the best. I wouldn’t rule him out.

Bapaume (3.30), who I ride in the Stayers’ Hurdle, is a bit hot and cold. His last run was better in Gowran behind Presenting Percy. You just don’t know what to expect. He can either run a really good race or a disappointing one.

If he runs on into a place and gets a bit of each way money that would be a good run. I think he can do that.

Polidam (4.10) has been a frustrating horse and has to improve as well. He is probably up against it here as there will be better handicapped horses in the race.

His last run was better than he has been doing but he has to improve massively again to feature here.

Elfile (4.50) is a mare who has only had one run for us, beating Black Tears in Punchestown where she got up late to win.

She would handle the ground. I hope she has enough experience and will be able to lie up with the early pace, but she jumped well that day.

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.