Ruby Walsh: Saxon Warrior has staying power for the Derby

Ruby's more familiar with flying over fences than floating across the flat, but the Derby is a special race, and he really likes the O'Brien favourite...

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In the UK, the Derby is the most famous flat race they have.

It’s like the Grand National of the flat racing season. If you meet people outside of racing, the first thing they’ll ask you about is the Derby.

Aidan O’Brien’s had many great Derby winners over the years. Galileo was spectacular, but it’s hard to single out horses.

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For instance, I can remember watching High Chaparral and Hawk Wing against each other thinking whichever of them win would be almost as good as Shergar.

There was very little between those two and they were so far clear of third. That was a great Derby to watch with Johnny Murtagh and Mick Kinnane going head-to-head.

The Derby is a huge race every year and this looks like a good renewal of it.

Curragh Racing, Curragh Racecourse, Newbridge, Co. Kildare 13/8/2017
Trainer Aidan O’Brien speaks to the media after Mendelssohn wins The Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital Irish EBF Maiden
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tom Beary

Saxon Warrior looked like he’d be too slow to win the Guineas. A lot of people will still be wondering if he’ll be able to stay, but I think he’s entitled to be the price he is at 8/11, he probably should even be a bit shorter because he looks like the best horse in the race.

If there is a danger to him it’s William Haggas’ Young Rascal. He did well to get out of an awkward position in the Chester Vase before going on to win that race comprehensively at the line. He’s around 10/1 currently.

I can’t see Saxon Warrior doing anything but staying, even though many doubt him

I thought he was incredibly impressive in Newmarket, he quickened well going down into the dip and did well all the way back up. I think he’d the one to beat.

Epsom’s not exactly a world class racecourse but it is the most famous race and it is a different task for horses.

If somebody gave you a blank cheque book to build a racecourse and you came back with Epsom, they’d lock you up.

But I’d still love to be the one riding Saxon Warrior around there on Saturday.

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