Ruby Walsh has admitted there is a “question mark” over Kilcruit after the Punchestown Festival winner flopped on his debut over flights.
Despite being sent off at a ridiculously short price of 1/14 for the 2m Maiden Hurdle at Cork earlier this month, Willie Mullins’ charge finished 10l behind Largy Debut.
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It was Kilcruit’s third defeat in six runs under rules, which left our resident jockey-turned-pundit in an unforgiving mood on the latest episode of our From The Horse’s Mouth podcast.
“I’d be slower to forgive horses beaten in maiden hurdles and beginners chases,” he said. “They are the easiest races to win.
“I know Ferny Hollow beat Bob Olinger last year and you had to forgive Bob Olinger but I’d be slower to forgive horses that get beaten in maiden hurdles and beginners chases for fitness.
If they’re going to be the real deal they tend to win first time up.
“It definitely puts a question mark over Kilcruit for me. That’s three times now he has been beaten. You can say Sir Gerhard gave it to him in the Champion Bumper but he still got beaten. Captain Kangaroo beat him in a bumper at Clonmel. Now he’s been beaten in a maiden hurdle at Cork.
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“On an off day, Honeysuckle still managed to beat Ronald Pump. On a very off day, she still managed to beat Sharjah. At times you can forgive horses too much.”
Kilcruit wasn’t the only high-profile Mullins horse to deliver a less-than-stellar display in recent weeks as Chacun Pour Soi came home last in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.
But Ruby said: “Chacun Pour Soi underperformed to a level that was too bad to be true. You couldn’t write him off based on that performance.”
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