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Paul Townend Blog - Thoughts on day two rides at Punchestown

Last updated: 26 Apr 2023
Jon Vine 26 Apr 2023
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  • Key quotes from Paul Townend's blog with bookmakers Ladbrokes
  • Townend has four big rides on day two of the Punchestown Festival
  • Paul talks about Galopin Des Champs, Grangeclare West and Gaelic Warrior in his latest blog
Paul Towned Blog Punchestown 2023 Day Two
Paul Townend riding Energumene celebrate victory in The William Hill Champion Chase at Punchestown Racecourse. (Getty)

We bring you key quotes from Paul Townend's blog with Ladbrokes, as Ireland's Champion Jockey discusses his rides in the big races on day two of the Punchestown Festival 2023.

Grangeclare West – 4.45 Punchestown

I thought he was going to be a very smart horse at the start of the season because of the way he won his maiden hurdle. He has disappointed a few times since then. We are on a retrieval mission with him. If the horse I thought he might be turns up, he will take a bit of beating. It is more hope I have with him rather than confidence. Imagine ran a nice race at Cheltenham and there are plenty in there with current form. It won’t be a huge shock if he puts in a big run but he has to redeem himself.

Gaelic Warrior – 5.20 Punchestown

Gaelic Warrior tries three miles for the first time. It will be interesting to see if he gets the trip. He obviously won a two-mile handicap at the Dublin Racing Festival. Going right-handed is going to be a huge advantage for him. He is the class horse in the race. He ran well at Cheltenham when coming second to Impaire Et Passe. Affordale Fury ran a cracker at Cheltenham and is proven over the trip and will take plenty of beating. Embassy Gardens is the other Willie [Mullins] horse. I actually rode him in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham and he ran a bit keen and has to leave a poor run behind him. I am very much looking forward to Gaelic Warrior and hopefully he handles this trip.

Galopin Des Champs – 5.55 Punchestown

Galopin Des Champs takes on Bravemansgame again in the Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup. I think this track will suit Bravemansgame better than Cheltenham. However, it will equally suit our lad and he is in great form since the race. It is going to be a big clash yet again but I just think we are rated a few pounds above him and for good reason. We were well on top at Cheltenham and we are playing a home game this time. I wouldn’t swap my horse for anything, he is the horse I am most looking forward to riding and is my best ride of the day. We can’t forget Envoi Allen who Henry [De Bromhead] dropped back to win the Ryanair. He adds a bit of spice to the race. Hewick was running a big race in the Gold Cup before he fell but it was a heavy fall and it’ll be interesting to see how he’s come out of that race.

Ha D’or – 7.05 Punchestown

It is a surprisingly small field for this race with only nine runners. Being a novice in an open handicap will help us. His form with Flame Bearer looks very good after Flame Bearer won the G1 at Fairyhouse. He was beaten only four lengths by El Fabiolo in a two-mile hurdle here last year. I have chosen him because he is open to more improvement. Royal Rendezvous won the race last year off of 160 and is down to 155 so he is off a winnable mark but was disappointing on his last couple of runs. Ha D’or is a nice racing weight and is open to improvement.

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