Paul Townend looks ahead to a busy weekend at Leopardstown

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I have a big weekend ahead at Leopardstown which starts with Jon Snow (12.35). Over two and a half miles we are hoping he will come on for his first run in Cork where we were disappointed he got beat.

It’s a Leopardstown maiden hurdle so it is going to be tough work but hopefully he can build on his first start and do the job here.

Eight And Bob (12.50) was good when he won in Gowran two runs ago and went to England where he was a no-show, to put it bluntly. He is creeping up the handicap the whole time. 

In fairness to him he was very consistent on the Flat but I would be hopeful more than confident here. If he runs into a place we would be delighted but he has to leave that last poor run behind him.

Allaho (1.25) is a really exciting novice chaser. His schooling has been very good.

He ran to a high level over hurdles last season and we think the switch to fences will bring about a bit of improvement. He will probably be favourite and I think he has a favourite’s chance.

I had a decision to make in the three mile hurdle and have gone for Bacardys (2.00).

I know it was Penhil’s first run last time but Bacardys was a long way ahead of him and if you took Honeysuckle out we would have been good winners. 

So I have stuck with Bacardys who is going into the race in good order and three miles won’t be a worry. Apple’s Jade hasn’t been firing on all cylinders yet this season and Unowhatimeanharry is getting on in years.

I would imagine Penhill will run better than he did at Fairyhouse but I am riding the horse going in there with the best form.

It’s really exciting to be riding Kemboy (3.10). Things haven’t gone right for us in the big races at this festival yet but hopefully we can turn it around here.

It’s his first run of the season. He is not a hard horse to get fit so hopefully that won’t count against him. 

It’s a good race. Presenting Percy ran a cracker in Punchestown behind Min and the step up to three miles will suit him. Road To Respect’s form was boosted by Clan Des Obeaux winning the King George.

So it will be a tough race but I think the drying ground will suit Kemboy who was very good in the race last year.

Bar Cheltenham his form last season was very good. It’s brilliant to get him back on the track and we are hoping for the best.

Sunday

We are hopefully back for more on Sunday where I start on The Big Getaway (12.45).

He has done nothing wrong and his schooling has been very good. I would be hoping he can run a good race here and progress from it.

Cobbler’s Way was second to Andy Dufresne and that looks good form but we like our horse a lot.

I had plenty of decisions to make in the Mares Hurdle and chose Stormy Ireland (1.20) on ratings. She got her season off to a good start and this race looks tailormade for her.

She ran a cracker at the Cheltenham Festival finishing second, although she would only have been third if Benie Des Dieux hadn’t fallen. Her Punchestown form with Benie Des Dieux is very good.

Carefully Selected (1.55) is similar to Allaho in that we think fences can bring about improvement. I thought he did very well to come back from a mistake with Danny in Fairyhouse and win again.

It’s a tough race with Minella Indo, who got turned over by Laurina in Gowran but who will be suited to the step up to three miles as a dual Grade 1 winner, and Battleoverdoyen among the field.

They will be tough opposition for Carefully Selected but we will know a lot more after this.

Klassical Dream (2.30) has to leave a disappointing run in Punchestown behind him in all honesty. I think he can improve a good bit for that. He will probably have to.

I was very impressed by Coeur Sublime in the north. Sharjah will be suited by the better ground and there wasn’t a whole lot between Aramon and Klassical Dream last season at a couple of meetings.

He is probably the forgotten horse in the race. But it’s time for Klassical Dream to step up to the mark.

Think Positive (3.05) has been a bit disappointing and is probably up against it. He has flickers of nice form and a run into a place would be a good run for him

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.