Ruby Walsh: I’d run Ballyburn in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle!

Ruby has his say on the hype horse...


Willie Mullins is one of the greatest trainers in the history of the game and enjoyed several winners at the Dublin Racing Festival last weekend.

One of those was Ballyburn. The horse’s impressive win in the Tattersalls Ireland 50th Derby Sale Novice Hurdle has put all eyes on Cheltenham and which race he will tackle next month. 

Ballyburn won by seven lengths and is the hot favourite in Paddy Power’s non runner money back betting for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle. Speaking on the latest episode of our Cheltenham Countdown series, our resident jockey-turned-pundit Ruby Walsh said that he would run him over the shorter trip.

You can see the latest Cheltenham Festival odds on the Paddy Power website and Paddy Power app, otherwise, Ruby’s thoughts on Ballyburn can be read below. 

Ruby Walsh:

I was impressed with the pace [Ballyburn] showed, that was a question mark you were going to have with him seeing as he’d been beaten by Firefox over two miles and had won a two-and-a-half mile maiden.

But the ease with which he travelled over the first three hurdles, the way he jumped and from a long way out you were looking at this race thinking the two horses that you might have had in your mind as question marks over two miles, himself and Slade Steel, were in control of this race from a long, long way from home.

They both showed the pace to travel, and Ballyburn showed a better turn of foot when they rounded off the home turn to go to the bypassed last hurdle.

Ballyburn Supreme Novices Hurdle (Non Runner Money Back)

I thought he was able to quicken up better than Slade Steel, but I loved the way Slade Steel kept going behind him. I thought it was a good race and I thought two very good horses came to the fore.

Ballyburn probably opened the door to go both races [the Supreme and Baring Bingham] – it was always open for him but he’s proved that he can go two miles and there’s no doubt about him going two and a half.

I would say in Paul Townend’s mind Ballyburn is his number one novice hurdler so where does he go with him? To me, you could put Ballyburn in either race and then can you win the other one? I know what I would do, but it won’t be my decision – I’d run him in the Supreme.

*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

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