Ruby Walsh: Vroum Vroum Mag faces her biggest test yet in the Hatton’s Grace hurdle at Fairyhouse

An interesting week for the top jock but there's still business to take care of on Sunday


Bapaume, Fairyhouse, 12.40pm

We don’t really have a handle on the three-year-old form yet but Landofhopeandglory and Mega Fortune have both been very impressive in what they’ve done and will take some beating.

Bapaume goes well at home and won a hurdle race in France but as he’s our first three-year-old runner of the season it’s hard to know how good he’ll be.

Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle, 2m, 1.10pm

This is a very good race. Penhill has a lot of experience and that swayed my decision to ride him over Saturnas and the impressive Airlie Beach. It was a difficult enough decision to make and I hope I’m on the right one.

Peace News was very impressive when winning a maiden hurdle at Cork and Labaik who I won on last time at Navan, is two from two over hurdles as well. It’s a hot race and very hard to call.


Gallop over to all the latest betting on 

Grade 1 Hatton’s Grace Hurdle, 2m 4f, 1.40pm

Apple’s Jade ran a blinder and this extra half mile trip should suit but it is only eight days since that hard run when she was just chinned in the Fighting Fifth hurdle at Newcastle.

Shaneshill will have improved from his third behind Snow Falcon at Navan and may have a fitness edge over Vroum Vroum Mag but how could I jump off her? She’s unbeaten for us since arriving from France, has answered every question we’ve asked and I didn’t want to desert her.

I hope I’m right, but Sunday is probably as big a task as she’s faced.

Handicap Hurdle, 2m, 2.10pm

Hard to see Sempre Medici winning off 150 in this handicap carrying top weight but the options are limited. He’ll be fitter for his run behind Nichols Canyon at Punchestown but is giving lumps of weight away.

Of the others, Upazo could be well handicapped but Gordon Elliott’s Campeador with Barry Geraghty on board could be the one we all have to beat.


Grade 1 Drinmore Novice Steeplechase, 2m 4f, 2.40pm

I’ve no ride in this but I won on A Toi Phil twice and he looks to set the standard. Alpha Des Obeaux was a very good hurdler and while he hasn’t quite reached those heights over fences yet, the better the race, the better he’ll be.

Diamond King was a very good winner at Galway and Anibale Fly was better value than his winning margin at Navan suggested.

Like the Royal Bond novice hurdle, it’s very difficult to call.

2m Flat Race, 3.40pm

Getabird won a point-to-point at Largy and works well and must have a chance for Patrick in the finale.

What do you think?