Paul Townend looks ahead to Sunday at Limerick

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We took part in a parade in Leighlinbridge with Al Boum Photo during the week and it was cool. There was a good turnout with a lot of children there.

It was nice to be a part of it and a central part of it. It was a new experience for me and I really enjoyed it.

I’m not being stopped in the street yet but I am getting noticed a bit more, signing plenty of autographs for kids. It’s certainly different.

I also reached 100 winners in a season for the first time. I have been trying for a long time.

It was never a massive goal of mine but when I was getting close to it, it was something I really wanted to do. It’s another milestone reached and hopefully we can add a few more before the end of the season.

There is only Limerick on Sunday this weekend. Since Cheltenham we have been pretty busy but since racing on Tuesday we have had a few days off to reflect on things. It’s been nice to recharge the batteries and I will be having a rare Saturday off.

I have four rides, starting with Breaken (1.50) for Willie Mullins and Al Boum Photo’s owner Joe Donnelly.

He was second in a hurdle race in Auteuil in June 2017 and hasn’t been seen since. We would hope he can get off to a winning start here.

He has done plenty of work at home so the big absence shouldn’t inconvenience him too much, albeit there are a few in there with good placed form already. It won’t be a walk in the park but we’d be hoping he can get the business done on his first try for us.

Maze Runner (2.20) didn’t make the cut for the Fred Winter. He is nicely treated at the ratings being a four-year-old.

He was probably a bit flattered by his proximity to Band Of Outlaws in Naas. He beat him in Cork early on in the season but he will have to step up again here. He has a chance but there are probably a few more open to a bit more improvement.

Cut The Mustard (2.55) went to Cheltenham on the back of a couple of nice runs around Leopardstown where she was hitting the crossbar.

She wasn’t beaten that far in the County Hurdle, running better than her finishing position suggests only beaten 12 lengths.

She is back in mares company here and that will definitely help. She has a lot of experience to draw on. Obviously Gordon Elliott’s horse Black Tears is decent, running a cracker in the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Especially with mares, you don’t know what sort of a mark Cheltenham has left on them until you have a go. Cut The Mustard’s two runs at Leopardstown should put her bang there.

Robin Des Foret (4.05) is probably exposed. He didn’t jump well enough the last day when he was coming off the back of a fall at Cork.

His race was over early in Naas and he’ll have to put that run behind him.

The likes of Burrows Saint are probably open to a bit more improvement but if he can put his best foot forward he could run a nice race but he has to leave a very disappointing last run behind him.

Breaken is probably my best chance. It will be nice to put on Joe Donnelly’s colours again and try to continue our run of good luck.

Grand National week

I am hoping to ride one of Willie Mullins’s runners in the Grand National but I don’t know which yet. I am not sure if he will be sending anything to the Topham.

I am not yet involved in any of the other races at the meeting but I will be there for the big one.

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.