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"He will take a lot of beating" - Paul Townend talks Ladbrokes through his Dublin Racing Festival rides

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Last updated: 03 Feb 2023
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Conrad Castleton 03 Feb 2023
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  • Top jockey Paul Townend talks to Ladbrokes about his weekend rides
  • Townend will be riding on both days of the Dublin Racing Festival
  • Read what Townend thinks about Galopin Des Champs, State Man and Lossiemouth
paul townend
Paul Townend celebrates after riding State Man to win The Matheson Hurdle at Leopardstown. (Getty)

Paul Townend discusses his weekend rides at the Dublin Racing Festival with bookmakers Ladbrokes.

Ahead of the 2023 Dublin Racing Festival, Paul Townend exclusively told Ladbrokes what he thinks about his rides in the big races at Leopardstown.

Saturday


Galopin Des Champs2023 Irish Gold CupGET 1/3 HERE
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Quais De Paris – 1.20 Leopardstown


He wasn’t very visually impressive winning at Tramore but I thought the penny only dropped over the second last. To step up in trip here will be a massive help for him. I think there is a lot of improvement. He is a horse we like a lot at home and he works really well. We will have to improve a lot from his maiden hurdle win to this race. Good Land won a good maiden at Christmas and I thought the race rode really well. I think he will take a lot of beating. American Mike blotted his copy book at Navan and is on a retrieval mission, but he is obviously a good horse on his day. Grangeclare West is similar to American Mike and ran poorly at Naas. I took a chance on Quais De Paris and hope he can improve a lot for the step up in trip.

Lossiemouth – 1.55 Leopardstown


She is a course and distance winner and two-from-two for Willie. Gala Marceau will improve a lot for her run when she followed Lossiemouth home over Christmas. It would have been impossible to get off Lossiemouth and I hope she can further enhance her reputation and take another step towards the Triumph Hurdle here. Willie introduces Gust Of Wind here, who goes well at home and is definitely worth watching.

Appreciate It – 2.30 Leopardstown


No word of a lie; it was a big headache trying to pick in this race. It is a very good race. I have gone for Appreciate It. He has done nothing wrong over fences so far and I thought it would be hard to get off him. Dysart Dynamo was very impressive winning around the track over course and distance at Christmas. El Fabiolo has a big reputation, while Flame Bearer won by a long way the last day as well. So this wasn’t a decision I made lightly but I have made my choice and I hope I am on the right one.

Galopin Des Champs – 3.05 Leopardstown


Galopin Des Champs really impressed me in the John Durkan. He steps up to try three miles over fences, he is a G1 winner over three miles over hurdles. I love the way he settles and that will give him a brilliant chance of getting home. He is on the road for the Gold Cup so he will have to win this if he wants to be favourite for Cheltenham. We will focus on winning this first before getting ahead of ourselves. I think he will take a lot of beating though. Stattler ran a cracker at Tramore when he was second to Minella Indo. He will improve for his seasonal debut, but my horse is very exciting.

Blue Sari – 3.40 Leopardstown


He had a nice run back behind Gaelic Warrior at Clonmel a few weeks ago. He is a horse that had a big reputation. He went chasing last year but from his bumper days, he hasn’t lived up to the potential he should have. Things haven’t gone right for him but I was happy with his run back at Clonmel. The only issue is that he has plenty of weight here, but three miles will suit him and I am looking forward to having a spin on him.

Sunday


State Man2023 Irish Champion HurdleGET EVENS HERE
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Historique Reconce – 1.10 Leopardstown


She is one-from-one for Willie Mullins, winning at Tramore during the summer. She has improved plenty from that, and she would have to. The horse she beat that day is only rated 80. That was her first run over Irish hurdles. With the four-year-old allowance, Risk Belle could be hard to beat and is open to a lot of improvement. I think my horse can improve too though.

Gaillard Du Mesnil – 1.40 Leopardstown


This is the race that gave me the biggest headache for the whole weekend. I have gone with Gaillard Du Mesnil, who was a G1 winner over Christmas. He was 4 ½ lengths behind Mighty Potter in the Drinmore, his first run of the season. He drops back in trip here and I hope it’s not going to be too much of an inconvenience for him. James Du Berlais was very impressive winning his Beginners’ Chase, but I have gone for the horse with the most experience. I am happy with my decision, and I think he can give Mighty Potter a run for his money.

Blue Lord – 2.10 Leopardstown


He was very impressive at Christmas. It was a very fast run race. You would have to be impressed with the rate he is improving at. He won at Clonmel earlier in the year and dropped back to two miles at Christmas. The manner in which he won was quite taking. He will be my best ride of the day and it looks his for the taking.

State Man – 3.10 Leopardstown


He has to take on Honeysuckle here which is interesting. He beat all the rest of them bar Takarengo who has a mountain to climb. Honeysuckle was beaten at Fairyhouse for the first time but I wouldn’t write her off on that. State Man seems to be improving the whole time. He built on his Morgiana win to win at Leopardstown over Christmas and I think he can win again. He is a horse I like a lot and I am looking forward to riding him again.

Facile Vega – 3.40 Leopardstown


What is left to say about Facile Vega? He is undefeated. He is such a good horse. He takes on High Definition who won a very good maiden over Christmas. We have had two runs, and he’s only had the one over hurdles, but the rating he has on the flat warrants a lot of respect. Il Etait Temps was second to Facile Vega over Christmas and reopposes again. He is a good horse in his own right. Dark Raven also won over Christmas and I think there are plenty of unexposed horses in here. However, Facile Vega is special and the way Willie talks about him is enough. All positives to report about him.

Gaelic Warrior – 4.10 Leopardstown


He looks to be off a nice mark still. He got nine pounds for winning the last day and is up to a mark of 143 but I think that is workable with him. Top weight won’t inconvenience him too much. I think Common Practice might struggle to take on the older horses at this time of year. I wouldn’t swap Gaelic Warrior. I have a lot of good rides and I think it will be a prosperous weekend.

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