Even given the quality of horses he gets to ride week in, week out, a 44% strike-rate over fences this season for Paul Townend is something special. That is a record of 18/41 over the bigger obstacles, compared to 22/86 over hurdles which is a respectable enough 26% clip.
Townend has had three rides at Fairyhouse this season, winning on all three, two of them over fences. He has a pair with excellent chances on Sunday in chases to try and extend that unbeaten record at the track. There are also cards at Ayr and Southwell for our horse racing tips to consider.
2.20 Fairyhouse – Dan & Joan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase
Blackbow tries handicap company for the first time here which has to be of interest. He has generally been kept to much better company than this in his career, just five chase starts in total with three of those coming at Grade 1 level. Two and a half miles was too far for him at the Cheltenham Festival, back down in trip here.
He has a very smart record fresh, notching up form of 11221 including his race debut so this is generally a good time to catch him. An opening mark of 151 looks on the light side on the balance of his form, especially when running Energumene to eleven lengths at the Dublin Racing Festival last season
2.50 Fairyhouse – Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase
Saint Sam was a decent juvenile hurdler last season, runner-up in the Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival. He was a little further behind the winner Jeff Kidder when they met again in a Grade 1 at the Punchestown Festival but he was still far from disgraced.
The return to a softer surface should not be any issue for him, runner-up in a Grade 3 when last at this track behind Zanahiyr. He gets four pounds from his elders here as one who has just turned five which is a plus on his chase debut. His level of form is close to the best in here and any progression now chasing should see him in the mix.
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