Ruby Walsh: My Fairyhouse fancies can make Sunday sweet

Racing’s top jockey has taken time out of his rehab to give us his tips for the massive meeting at the County Meath track…


14:50 Fairyhouse

Laurina is going to be very, very hard to beat in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final at 14:50. She’s won at Fairyhouse in heavy ground in the past and the extra two furlongs won’t be a problem to her.

She’s going to be a very short price and deservedly so. For punters, you a probably wondering who can chase her home?

Salsaretta will have improved from her run at Cheltenham, while Lackaneen Leader looks the best of Gordon Elliott’s challengers.

Elsewhere, Cut The Mustard needs to improve a bit and Redhotfillypeppers will love the ground and trip. She might be one to put it up Laurina.

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15:20 Fairyhouse

There really wasn’t much between Duc Des Genievres, Scarpeta and Real Steel at Cheltenham, they probably all had ‘hard luck’ races there. Another one who falls into that category here is Blow By Blow, who is the real fancied one for this.

It’s hard to know which one of them will come out of their Cheltenham efforts in good form. But, when you take Sunday’s ground into consideration, I’d probably go for Scarpeta. I just believe he’ll have the most stamina in very testing conditions.

Blow By Blow will be very difficult to beat though.

15:55 Fairyhouse

Willie Mullins has three in the Novice Handicap Chase at 15:55 – Bon Papa, Blazer and Patricks Park.

It will be hard for Blazer in this one because it’s his first run in a long time, but it will be short and ideal for Bon Papa. 139 looks like a workable handicap mark for him too.

Patricks Park is a distance winner and he’s in great form. Hopefully he can defy the penalties.

16:30 Fairyhouse

The Ryanair Gold Cup Novice Chase (16:30) probably sets the tone for the next three weeks – Willie Mullins v Gordon Elliott.

There is absolutely nothing between Invitation Only and Al Boum Photo, only a head separated them at Leopardstown. Up For Review is fresh as paint, he’ll love the ground and is coming in off the back of a good win in Gowran Park.

Saturnas will find it testing for sure, but he’s a Grade One winner over hurdles. However, there’s no doubt that the one they’ve all got to beat is Shattered Love.

The Storyteller may have won at Cheltenham, but his rating is more of a penalty than a handicap now and I reckon he has a bit find. I see Shattered Love winning it, with Willie’s horses coming second, third and fourth all ahead of the Story Teller.

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What do you think?