Horse Racing tips: Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey’s weekend NAPs

Ruby and Frank have revealed their top picks this weekend

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change

* UPDATE: Sunday’s meeting at Thurles has been abandoned after failing an inspection. 

Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey have picked out their best bets of the weekend ahead of action at Ascot, Haydock, Taunton, Navan and Thurles.

Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, our dynamic duo treated punters to not just one but two NAPs each – one for Saturday and another for Sunday.

Ruby Walsh

1.15pm, Ascot (Saturday) – Roksana

2.00pm, Thurles (Sunday) – Allaho

I think ALLAHO will win on Sunday in Thurles, although that is a long time to wait for our best bet! If you were pushing me for a best bet on Saturday, I think ROKSANA will be too good a hurdler for Magic of Light at Ascot.

 

I like Roksana but I can’t see her winning the Stayers’ Hurdle moving on from here – I think she’s got a better chance of beating Honeysuckle or Concertista in the Mares’ Hurdle. Magic Of Light is just not as good a hurdler as Roksana but she could end up in the Mrs Paddy Power Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. We’ve got two good mares clashing here that might go down different roads in March.

Watching back Allaho’s RSA run from last year, he was always doing too much. He always wanted to go a stride faster and they were going pretty strongly as it was over 3m1f. Dropping back to two-and-a-half miles will really suit him. We couldn’t see the John Durkan but he finished behind Battleoverdoyen in the fog. We can only take reports at face value from that, but Battleoverdoyen was very good at Down Royal when he beat Easy Game and Samcro.

 

Allaho-Ruby-Walsh

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Frank Hickey

2.25pm, Ascot (Saturday) – Enqarde (Each-Way)

3.00pm, Thurles (Sunday) – Gentlemansgame

I would say my best bet of the weekend would be GENTLEMANSGAME on Sunday at Thurles. But if I was also giving one for Saturday, I would say the 2.25pm at Ascot – ENQARDE – for Dr Richard Newland. That will be a fair each-way bet.

Enqarde is one of the most unexposed runners in this field and looks to have solid each-way claims here. He arrived from France and only made his debut for Dr Newland at the end of November and had three relatively quick runs in just a month. On his stable debut he was touched off here over 3m over hurdles off a mark of 115 and followed that up by winning nicely in a novice hurdle up in Newcastle over 2m6f. That was an easy win and he beat two horses rated 117 to give some context to his performance. Last time he took his chance in the Tommy Whittle at Haydock off a mark of 124 and was travelling well within himself when unseating five fences from home. He gets to run off the same mark here, while track, trip and ground all suit, so everything looks set for him to run well here.

 

I think Gentlemansgame is a very interesting horse, and was wondering if he would go down the Ballymore route but by stepping straight up to 3m they’re obviously looking at the Albert Bartlett. I was quite keen on Fakiera for the Albert Bartlett but I wouldn’t be surprised if Gentlemansgame is challenging Stattler for favouritism in that come Sunday evening. He’s an intriguing runner and I think he’s got loads of ability. If he wins this, he becomes a massive player.

It would make sense to back Gentlemansgame for the Albert Bartlett with Paddy’s ‘Non-Runner, Money Back’ offer now, because if he wins on Sunday he’ll be considerably shorter for March than he is now. That’s definitely the way to go.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change

Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey’s best bets of the weekend

Ruby Walsh
1.15pm, Ascot (Saturday) – Roksana
2.00pm, Thurles (Sunday) – Allaho

Frank Hickey
2.25pm, Ascot (Saturday) – Enqarde (Each-Way)
3.00pm, Thurles (Sunday) – Gentlemansgame

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