Our Irish ambassador Paul Townend talks us through his rides at Navan this Sunday and looks ahead to the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival.
Unfortunately I don’t have any rides on Saturday even though I had a good week. That’s how tight it is over here at the moment but I suppose Willie Mullins has very little entries as well.
Instead, I’ll be participating in The Cube for charity in The Newgrange Hotel in Navan. It’s at 8pm and all in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund so that should be good fun!
Sunday – Navan
My first at Navan will be on Some Day Jemima (12.30). I don’t know much about her as she hasn’t run.
Liam Cusack said she’s a nice mare but she looks up against it in what looks a hot maiden hurdle. Peter Fahey’s mare, Gypsy Island, landed a big gamble when she won her bumper and has been bought by JP McManus since.
I’d imagine she will set the standard. She looks a little bit special. Henry De Bromhead’s mare, Put The Kettle On, was second to the very smart sort Mister Blue Sky. She will be in the frame too I reckon.
I ride Banjo in the 1.30. He drops back to two miles which will suit. He didn’t stay the three miles in Cork the last day and the good ground will also suit him. He definitely has an each-way chance.
On his best form he is very consistent. Gordon Elliott’s horse, Western Honour, will probably be more suited to handicaps. He was second in a maiden on his first run so he will be interesting.
In the Ladbrokes Troytown Handicap Chase (2.30), I ride Rogue Angel for Gordon Elliott. I think my only other ride for Gordon was actually in this race a few years ago.
He has twelve runners so I suppose he was running out of jockeys! It’s definitely a nice one to be on though. He’s creeping back up the weights. His run in Mallow was good, he’s fit and we know he stays.
He is probably exposed compared to a few of the others in the field but he doesn’t need to improve a whole lot more to be in the shake-up. Minella Beau is opened to more improvement than we are.
He’s one of the unexposed horses in it. Although, Woods Well beat him in Galway and that is a good level of form too. He has experience in big handicaps so he’s definitely one to keep an eye on.
Spider Web is another horse going the right way and could be a big player too.
Ladbrokes Winter Carnival
I hope to be heading to Newbury for the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival. Willie Mullins will be sending over a few.
I won the Ladbrokes Trophy last year with Total Recall but it’s too hard to know if he’ll go across again. I don’t see why not.
I think him, Kemboy, and maybe another could go over. I think Kemboy looks the one.
He’s had a prep run and probably surprised us as to how ready he was. He did everything wrong at Clonmel and still won so he’s the main one of ours going over. We will see!