Cork jockeys Townend and Coleman set for a battle royale this week in Cheltenham

Cork jockeys Townend and Coleman set for a battle royale this week in Cheltenham

Jockey Paul Townend on Al Boum Photo after winning the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase on Day Four of the Cheltenham Racing Festival at Prestbury Park in Cheltenham, England. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

CORK jockeys Paul Townend and Aidan Coleman are set to battle it out for the leading jockey award this week

Both will be looking forward to the Cheltenham Festival with relish. 

There is a chance that the winner of all four Championship Races, the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Stayers Hurdle and Gold Cup will be ridden by either jockey. 

Townend has gone from strength to strength since taking over as stable jockey to Champion Trainer Willie Mullins. 

The Lisgoold native has a brilliant book of rides throughout the week including Al Boum Photo who is chasing a Gold Cup hat-trick and racing immortality.

Al Boum Photo is owned by Cork man and former bookmaker Joe Donnelly who also owns Shiskin and Gaillard Du Mesnil. 

Donnelly is extremely private but his recent investment in national hunt horses has paid rich dividends.

Townend will ride hot favourite Chaqun Pour Soi in the Champion Chase which is the feature race on Wednesday. 

This brilliant chaser will be making his debut on the Cotswolds after being found lame on the morning of last year’s race. 

However he has looked imperious this season with victories at Cork and Leopardstown twice. 

Townend will hope to get punters off to a flyer with Appreciate It in the Supreme Novice Hurdle while he will also ride other high profile favourites Monkfish, Kilcruit, Allaho, Hook Up, Stattler, Billaway and Elimay latter in the week.

Aidan Coleman will be relying on quality rather than quantity with Epatante hoping to defend her Champion Hurdle crown which is the feature race on day one. 

Put The Kettle On, with Aidan Coleman up, left, on their way to winning the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase ahead of eventual second place Fakir D'oudairies, with Mark Walsh up, on Day One of the Cheltenham Racing Festival at Prestbury Park in Cheltenham, England. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Put The Kettle On, with Aidan Coleman up, left, on their way to winning the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase ahead of eventual second place Fakir D'oudairies, with Mark Walsh up, on Day One of the Cheltenham Racing Festival at Prestbury Park in Cheltenham, England. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

The vibes from the Henderson team are very positive although this is a cracking renewal. 

Honeysuckle would be a hugely popular Irish winner for Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore while Goshen has serious potential.

Coleman also rides Stayers Hurdle favourite Paisley Park which is the feature race on Thursday.

It should be a great week for both Cork jockeys.

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