Saturday 29 April 2017

Townend can get back in rhythm with Tempo

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Reigning champion jockey Paul Townend returns to the saddle with two rides at Fairyhouse today after spending a fortnight sidelined with a fractured collarbone.

In the Follow Nina On Facebook Hurdle, Townend is reunited with his Galway Plate-winning partner Blazing Tempo.

Just five go to post for this, with Western Charmer likely to pose the most serious threat to Willie Mullins' mare.

Second to Organisedconfusion in the Irish Grand National, Western Charmer filled the same position behind Quito De La Roque in a Grade One at Punchestown.

Bryan Cooper, also returning from a lay-off with a broken wrist here, takes the reins on the Dessie Hughes-trained nine-year-old, but you'd have to suspect that his mount will have more suitable engagements in the months ahead.

Blazing Tempo, on the other hand, comes here race-fit after taking a mares' chase at Clonmel, and the weights favour her.

The Accordion mare is rated 10lbs superior to Western Charmer over fences, yet receives a valuable 9lbs all round.

The day's nap selection is Andrea's Answer in the two-mile-five-furlong handicap chase. Hidden Present turns out on the back of a taking win at Limerick, but he has gone up 7lbs for that and has 15 starts to his name over fences already.

Joe Fogarty's Andrea's Answer is less exposed. Placed a number of times over hurdles, the seven-year-old mare has so far endured a similar fate over fences, making the frame twice in her last four starts.

On her penultimate outing at Punchestown, she was second to the prolific Groody Hill, before then crashing out at the last at Thurles when upsides in front. If Tom Doyle's partner gets a due rub of the green, this could be her day.

In the opening maiden hurdle, Rourke's Cross, an early casualty at Navan last week, can account for Mount Colah, while Dantes King is a tentative choice in the concluding beginners' chase.

Irish Independent

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