Punchestown Joy And My Two To Follow

The Punchestown Festival was incredible this year and I thoroughly enjoyed it with a few wins at it myself.

The Best Of The Week
It was a brilliant win for Un De Sceaux in the BoyleSports Champion Chase last Tuesday. He just keeps popping up and doing the business. He goes under the radar and I for one dismissed him and didn’t think he would beat Min after Min’s performance at Aintree so he proved all his doubters wrong.

He had Min well covered from two out. It was great to see and fantastic for an eleven-year-old to win the BoyleSports Champion Chase like that.

Kemboy’s win in the Gold Cup was superb and I suppose Ruby’s retirement news directly after the race took a bit of the shine off Kemboy and rightly so but it was a brilliant performance.

He didn’t get everything his own way up in front like he did in Aintree. Ruby gave him a great ride to keep the lid on him as long as he could and Al Boum Photo loomed in there too. I know Paul Townend felt he was a little bit flat but only marginally; I thought he ran his race too. Kemboy is going to be a very interesting horse looking towards the Gold Cup for next year.

Buveur d’Air travelled superbly well in the Champion Hurdle and I was tracking him on Supasundae. We ran a good gallop the whole and the ground was pretty good by Friday. It was disappointing for Mark Walsh not land it after breaking his leg the day before but Davy Russell gave Buveur D’air a clip turning in and he quickened up well. Supasundae ran a cracking race to finish second.

Stormy Island ran a cracking race in the Mares Champion Hurdle. She’s a good, honest, tough mare. She went at a decent gallop and put Benie Des Dieux under pressure.

When the race finished, Paul Townend said to me, “You had me at it.

That’s what Stormy Island does but Benie Des Dieux won well and she got compensation for falling at Cheltenham.

Of the novices, it was a very good performance from Chacun Pour Soi in the Ryanair Novices’ Chase. For a novice, on only his second run, to take on novices that have been running all season, like Duc De Genievres and Defi Du Seuil, was absolutely brilliant. To Beat a JLT winner and an Arkle winner was really good.

There’s plenty more to come from Chacun Pour Soi. He made a few small jumping errors which he’ll iron out with experience, but I think in general he’s a very good jumper.

The Season Ahead
I’m not one for setting targets for the new season. If you set targets in this game you’ll end up disappointed. I just take it day by day and hope for the best!

I’m very lucky and I’m in a very privileged position to be riding for the likes of Jessie Harrington and Colin Tizzard. I had six Grade One winners last season including one for Willie Mullins and one for Gordon Elliott. I’m very lucky to get the rides that I do on particular horses.

We’ve got plenty of horses to look forward to in the season ahead but if I had to pick two it would be Lostintranslation and Reserve Tank.