Ruby Walsh: Stormy Ireland can blow through French field this weekend

Ruby takes a look at the big races in France this weekend, where Willie Mullins' runners could have a say in the final shake up...

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We’ve a good few entries in France this weekend, with most of them in the Prix la Barka.

Baupaume ran a blinder in the French Champion hurdle finishing second. He’s a five-year-old, so he should still be improving.

Yorkhill ran his best race in a while but possibly didn’t have enough to get home, and possibly the drop back in trip might suit him.

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 16: during St Patrick’s Thursday on day three of the festival meeting at Cheltenham racecourse on March 16, 2017 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

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Obviously Shaneshill won the race last year. He had a run over fences in Killarney so he could be coming into form.

I think Asthuria would have to improve on what she’s shown. The three geldings would be the stronger ones. Out of them, Yorkhill was showing some sign of a spark in the French Champion Hurdle, so he could be worth a try here.

Lil Rockefeller is in the entries list here too. From watching him and riding against him, he is a better horse going a bit further than the 2m 5f in this.

Jockeys and horses prepare to take the start of the Gras Savoye Grand Steeple-Chase of Paris horse racing on May 29, 2011 at the Auteuil racetrack in Paris. AFP PHOTO BERTRAND LANGLOIS (Photo credit should read BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images)

There’s no De Bon Couer to race against. Alex De Larredya is one of the stand out home names but Device also showed well on the French Champion Hurdle card a few weeks back.

He’s been a very good hurdler in the past, Footpad just beat him as a four-year-old before, and he brings a fair level of form to the table as well.

We’ve three entries in the four-year-old hurdle at Auteuil as well.

Saglawy was too free in France a couple a weeks ago, Msassa stayed at it well, and Stormy Ireland was very good in Killarney. That form has been franked by Good Thyne Tara winning in Ballinrobe. I always thought Stormy Ireland was the best of them so she’d be the one of most interest to me.

The Prix des Drags will be a very good race. Ross O’Sullivan might have Baie des Iles running here before the French Gold Cup. She’s won around Auteuil’s fence before, she’d just like a little bit of rain, but she is in good form and has won at the track before.

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What do you think?