Horse Racing tips: Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey’s best antepost bets for Fairyhouse Novice Chase

Ruby and Frank have their sights set on Energumene

Energumene wins at Naas 2021


*Odds quoted on the widget are Future Racing/Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason, you will lose your stake under traditional antepost rules

New to Paddy Power?

Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey have taken a close look at the market ahead of the Underwriting Exchange Novice Chase at Fairyhouse on Sunday.

The Grade 1 contest over 2m4f is one of the highlights of the Easter Festival at the County Meath racecourse and will see some of the division’s most exciting young chargers go head-to-head.

While Envoi Allen may be bypassing the race, Energumene could make his long-awaited comeback after missing the Cheltenham Festival due to injury and is set to go up against Latest Exhibition if the latter opts against running in the Irish Grand National.

Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, our resident jockey-turned-pundit Ruby and expert trader Frank discussed the shape of the race and named their antepost selections.

Ruby Walsh

I don’t know if Energumene will be making his comeback at Fairyhouse – he worked on Tuesday morning but I don’t know whether he’ll reappear here or he’ll wait for Punchestown. If he worked on Tuesday, I’d say there’s a fair chance he’s okay. He looks 100 per cent and he seems fine.

Whether Willie will chance him or not I’m sure will depend on how he works again on Thursday. He’s a hell of a good racehorse. Hopefully he gets there, but if he doesn’t line up on Sunday, he’ll line up at Punchestown.

Asterion Forlonge has a quick turnaround from Cheltenham, where he finished third behind Chantry House in the Marsh Novices’ Chase, but I thought it was more of a worry for the horse that finished just behind him – Chatham Street Lad – going to Limerick last Sunday, and he bolted in. Now that was in a much lesser contest than this, but he still looked fresh and well.

I thought Asterion Forlonge had a really good chance at the top of the hill in Cheltenham with the way he was travelling. The way the race had been run, with Shan Blue going so hard and opening it up and with Envoi Allen out of the contest, I actually thought ‘wow Asterion could go and win here’. He was jumping dead straight, but he didn’t finish that strongly – he got tired. Maybe he’ll improve for it, but going right-handed should suit him and he seems to have gotten his jumping back together after two falls. He was fourth to Monkfish, third to Chantry House and he’s going the right direction but I don’t know if his form is as strong as Latest Exhibition’s.




Janidil was travelling well when he tipped up at the Dublin Racing Festival behind Monkfish but where he would have finished, who knows? I watched him jumping on Tuesday and he jumped really well. Meanwhile, I think the trip will suit Franco De Port. I know he ran in Cheltenham but he never got concerned in the Arkle so he didn’t exactly have a hard race, and stepping up in trip will really suit him.

If Willie chooses to run Energumene, he will without doubt be the one to beat and the trip wouldn’t worry me either. Outside of that, I don’t have a strong fancy to tell you the truth. The horse with the strongest form is definitely Latest Exhibition. Connections are more likely to run him here with no Envoi Allen, but they probably weren’t expecting to see Energumene either!

Energumene Paul Townend Leopardstown February 6, 2021

Horse Racing tips: Ruby Walsh’s best antepost bets for the Irish Grand National

Frank Hickey

Envoi Allen hasn’t been entered, so I think it is more likely that Latest Exhibition will run here. Latest Exhibition was a close second in last year’s Albert Bartlett and then won his beginners’ chase at the first time of asking at Punchestown. He was then second twice to Monkfish at Leopardstown over 3m and 2m5f, and has the pace to be competitive at this trip.

Asterion Forlonge should be suited to going right-handed after a fourth in the Flogas at the Dublin Racing Festival and a third in the Marsh Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham. Chatham Street Lad gave a nod to that Marsh form when bolting up at Limerick on Sunday, but I think Asterion Forlonge needs to improve on what he has done over fences to date.

Energumene has been extremely impressive in winning all three chase starts in fast times and was being aimed at the Arkle before a slight injury. He has won over 2½m so the trip is no issue. I genuinely think he is top class and was convinced he was going to put it up to Shishkin, so he would be tough to beat here if he takes his chance.

I can’t look beyond Energumene winning if he runs. What would be interesting is if there is money going against him here. We’ve priced him up conservatively at odds-on as people will be knocking down the door trying to back him, but if the money starts going against him it might indicate that he’s not going to run.

*Odds quoted on the widget are Future Racing/Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason, you will lose your stake under traditional antepost rules

The Underwriting Exchange Novice Chase bet summary – Sunday, April 4

Ruby WalshEnergumene
Frank HickeyEnergumene

Read More

The latest racing odds are on now


What do you think?