Ruby Walsh: Six horses I wish I could ride at Cheltenham 2018

Racing’s top jock looks ahead to the Festival he’s made his own over the years and picks out six he wishes he could saddle up on for the week…

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Buveur D’Air – Champion Hurdle, Tuesday

The reigning champion Buveur D’Air sets the standard in the Champion Hurdle again and any jockey would love to ride him. He jumps, travels and stays – all at a much quicker rate than any of the others. I’ve yet to decide who I’ll ride from Faugheen, Yorkhill, Wicklow Brave etc. as they all line up. Whoever it is – Nicky Henderson’s hurdler is the one we’ve got to beat.

Samcro – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, Wednesday

I just think The Deloitte Novice Hurdle winner Samcro is a hell of a good race horse. That victory at Leopardstown was highly impressive and he’s looks so straightforward. That makes him an easy choice to ride for me.

Presenting Percy – RSA Chase, Wednesday

An impressive winner of the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle last year here, Presenting Percy’s arguably looked even better over fences. While many people gave Our Duke the plaudits for his run when second to Presenting Percy over an inadequate trip in the Red Mills Chase. I came away thinking that Presenting Percy had done very little wrong in advertising his leading claims in the RSA Chase.

Cause of Causes – Cross Country Chase, Wednesday

Cause of Causes took to the fences in the Cross Country last year when beating stablemate Bless the Wings by nine lengths, before finishing second to One for Arthur in the Grand National at Aintree. That was some performance and it looks like he’ll follow the same path this year again. Had a pipe-opener at Leopardstown last month, but looks sure to bring his ‘A’ game to the Cross Country Chase next week.

Sam Spinner – Stayers’ Hurdle, Thursday

It looks a very open year in the Stayers Hurdle contest. When I was winning it on Big Bucks there were only eight or nine runners, but it looks like there’ll be a big field lining up next Thursday. Sam Spinner bolted up by 17 lengths in a handicap hurdle at Haydock before stepping up to win the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot. He’s a young, progressive and improving horse, who crucially will handle most types of ground next week.

Might Bite – Gold Cup, Friday

Funnily enough, I was probably against Might Bite earlier in the season. However, the more I’ve looked at it, and when you watch back his win in the RSA Novices´ Chase at Cheltenham last year, I just believe he’s an incredible athlete. For that reason alone, I’d love a go on him.

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