Paul Townend looks ahead to St Stephen’s Day at Leopardstown

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I have five rides to look forward to, starting with Klassical Dream in the 12.10 which looks a good maiden.

Gordon, Joseph, and Henry all have fancied horses here but we have experience from France as a three-year-old in Grade 1’s and we like him a lot at home so we are hoping for a big run.

I ride Defy De Mee in the 12.40, who improved from last year at Fairyhouse the last day on better ground. He is dropping back to two miles which will be a question for him and he will need to improve again here to win but at least he’s going the right way.

In the Grade 2 Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle at 1.10, I ride La Sorelita. She won over hurdles in France on soft ground. I don’t think the better ground here will inconvenience her too much.

I chose to ride her over Maze Runner because I don’t think he’s up to the level of Gordon’s two that battled it out at Fairyhouse.

In saying that, he improved on the flat with every run so maybe the experience of his first run could bring him on a lot. He still has a lot of improving so I took a chance with La Sorelita. She might just be a cut above him.

Next up, I ride Share The Honour in the Sky Sports Racing Novice Handicap Hurdle at 1.45.

He is still a maiden over hurdles but his best run by far was his last run at Navan where he was third. We may not have seen the best of him yet over hurdles and it wouldn’t be a bad place for him to shed his maiden tag.

In the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase, I will ride Voix Du Reve. I have been lucky enough to have ridden him on his two runs over fences. He’s an exciting ride.

He likes to get on with it and touch wood, his jumping has been sound up to now. It is a good race though with Mengli Khan setting the standard over hurdles but he’s only had the one run over fences and his form isn’t rock solid.

Then you have Le Richebourg who has an awful lot of experience over fences. I think it will make for an exciting race. Hopefully my horse can go close. He looks to be a better chaser than hurdler already.

I think my best chance of a winner on St Stephen’s Day is Klassical Dream. We really like him at home.

It is such a good race though, it hard to know the level of the others and there are a few first time out horses there as well but we are really looking forward to him. If he could get the Christmas off to a good start, we’d be delighted.

In the meantime, I have two days off to relax and take it easy.

Happy Christmas

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.