Punchestown continues today after a thrilling start to the festival yesterday. There's plenty of more races to look forward to this week. Here are Paul Townend's picks for day 2.
Everything went to plan on Monday's major races with no big upsets, though there was a very exciting end to the Champions Chase. Although the big favourite of the race, Energumene, won the race, it wasn't as easy as everyone expected it to be. Chacun Pour Soi stood up to the challenge as both horses went neck to neck in an epic finish. Energumene had what was needed to narrowly beat Chacun Pour Soi on the finish line.
There is more excitement awaiting horseracing fans today as the Ladbrokes Gold Cup is one of Day 2's races.
Paul Townend's picks
Townend's pick of the week Galopin Des Champs is racing today. The French horse has won a lot of races this season including a great win in Cheltenham. For the Kilkenny jockey there is no doubt he is the favourite for the Ladbrokes Gold Cup:
[It] worked out in Cheltenham and hopefully we can do the double. A lot of time when they come back from Cheltenham, they don't back it up in Punchestown. But the manner in which he hit the line in Cheltenham, I think it will be no problem to him. He was very strong at the line at Cheltenham land it would be nice to se him win back to back Ladbrokes Gold Cup in Punchestown.
Galopin Des Champs is strong favourite in the odds going 2/5 in most bookies.
Day Two of Punchestown is here and it's Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup Day!
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In the Three Mile Novice Hurdle, Paul Townend says it's very open with many entries. However, he believes there's two horses that are favourites in this race. Townend thinks Embassy Gardens can bounce back from his bad performance at Cheltenham and produce a good run here in Punchestown. The other horse to look out for is Gaelic Warrior as he is the favourite with every bookies. Here is what Paul Townend had to say about this race:
I rode Embassy Gardens at Cheltenham. [He] ran a bit keen and stopped quickly, I pulled him up so maybe pulling them up will help us when we go to Punchestown. He has to leave his poor run behind him. Gaelic Warrior is an interesting entry here. Patrick [Mullins] was suggesting he go up in trip after riding him in Cheltenham so going right-handed wherever he goes, he'll play a part.