Ruby Walsh: A busy weekend but the best Value may lie at Aintree

A hectic few days awaits UK & Irish racegoers, so top jock and PP Ambassador Ruby Walsh gives us the low down ...


My only ride on Saturday is Royal Rendezvous who runs in a maiden hurdle at Galway 3.50pm. He’s won his last two bumpers but did disappoint at this track earlier in the summer. He’s schooled well at home and is in good order.

He’ll have to improve a bit to be a top novice hurdler but we’re happy with him heading into this contest.

At Leopardstown, Causey Arch runs in the October Handicap at Leopardstown 4.50pm. He ran a blinder at Gowran Park where he probably just idled when he hit the front and was chinned by Neverrushacon.

He should go very close in this.


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Cheltenham, Saturday

We’ve no runners at Cheltenham but I had a quick look at the card and I’ll be interested in how two horses in particular get on. Redicean should be hard to beat in the four-year-old hurdle. Things didn’t go his way in the Triumph Hurdle last season, but he was a decent performer up to that.

Later on the same card, Paul Nicholls’ Movewiththetimes is looking to get his career back on track in the novice chase. He should be too good for Cubomania.

Galway, Sunday

I’ll be at Galway again on Sunday where I start off on Diamond Hill in the 12.35pm. She has a bit of Galway form to her name but could end up playing third fiddle to Gordon Elliott’s Tintangle and John Quelly’s Getaway Katie Mae who were both two good mares from last year.

We’re taking on proper winter mares with a summer mare and while she may have fitness on here side, I think she’ll be outclassed.

I’ve opted for Karl Des Grosse in the 2.50pm, but I’m not sure I’m going to be proven right.

He gets 11lbs from Dorrells Pierji who was disappointing the last day, while Poly Rock hasn’t run in a long time. That might just swing the balance in Karl Des Grosse’s favour.

Suinda has her first run in a handicap in the 3.25pm but is very inexperienced. She does have a very light weight though and while she looks fairly handicapped she does lack experience in the 20-runner field.

Wicklow Brave steps up to 3m in the conditions hurdle at 4pm and looks the class horse in the race. He’s looks like he needs a trip to bring about a little bit more improvement as he’s too slow over 2m given the level he’s at.

While we’re not certain he’ll stay 3m, hopefully 3m brings about the improvement he needs to get his head in front again.


Wexford, Sunday

Paul Townend rides Panther Soul who disappointed on debut but steps up half a mile in trip. Hopefully, that brings about improvement but after that Gowran Park run, he might be best watched on Sunday.

Chambord Du Lys and Sapphire Lady run in the mares’ hurdle at 12.50. Paul has gone for Sapphire Lady and that’s no surprise as Chambord Du Lys has run nowhere near her rating on her last two starts. We can’t quite put our finger on it as we’re happy with her at home.

She’s best watched at the moment until she returns to form on the track.

Sapphire Lady was disappointing at Limerick but did work really well during the week. Track and trip should suit and on the evidence we have, Paul has made the right decision.

Later, Eight and Bob will have to brush up his jumping from Downpatrick to win here. Even though he finished second up the North, his jumping was poor. That was over 2m 3f and he drops back to 2m now.

Miss Chevious Girl has had two chances to win a bumper but was beaten on both starts. Danny Mullins thought she worked really well on Thursday, so that would explain why Patrick Mullins has gone to Wexford to ride her, rather than Kalanisi Og at Galway.

Incidentally, The Old Roan Chase at Aintree 3pm mightn’t be the race it once was but Value at Risk looks like he could be well handicapped for trainer Dan Skelton. He signed off last season with a win at Ayr in a Listed Chase.

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What do you think?