Ruby Walsh: My picks for Saturday at Down Royal and Wetherby

Ruby runs through the biggest races on Saturday at Down Royal and Wetherby, picking out his top tips from their choice cards...


13:55 – Down Royal Handicap Hurdle

Ivanovitch Gorbatov’s been declared in this so Shanning gets in off 11lbs 3. That’s a much more manageable weight for her than if the weights went up 7lbs.

She’s in good order. If it does rain overnight it won’t inconvenience her, but she’s crept up the weights for being beaten behind Low Sun at Galway and Ballyoisin at Listowel.

If she gets her head in front you just hope those penalties won’t stop her winning a big one.

Down Royal Racing, Down Royal Racecourse, Co. Down 4/11/2017
The Tayto Group Maiden Hurdle
A view of the Down Royal Racecourse
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Presseye has the latest horse racing odds

14:30 – Down Royal Champion Chase

Road to Respect and Balko de Flos look the big two. It’ll be an interesting match between them.

The three who would be next are Sub Lieutenant, Woodland Opera and Sandymount Duke, and I suppose on Punchestown form, Sub Lieutenant would be the stand out of those.

But Balko des Flos versus Road to Respect is the race, and I’d be in the latter’s camp at 15/8.

He’s probably got a few pounds to find in the ratings but they can fluctuate here and there.

14:40 – Wetherby Charlie Hall Chase  

This looks like Black Corton versus Definitly Red.

Black Corton was an incredible improver last year. He had a lot of racing so you can forgive him a few under-par performances at the end of the year.

Freshened up, I think he could give Definitly Red all he wants of it. I think he will, and would back Black Corton.

2018 Cheltenham Festival, Prestbury Park, Cheltenham, England 14/3/2018
Jockey Bryony Frost on Black Corton
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

15:05 – Down Royal Grade 2 Chase

I’d be inclined to see this as Monalee taking on Shattered Love. The Storyteller was a fortunate winner in Punchestown, and I think the other two are class horses in this race.

It’ll be a cracking contest between them, they’re two very exciting horses.

They know a bit about esch other from last year. They ran in Punchestown, where one fell and the other was beaten after a long season. Gordon’s horses weren’t exactly flying at that meeting.

I’ve great admiration for Shattered Love, but around Down Royal on good ground, I would definitely be on Monalee.

16:10 – Down Royal Bumper

If Gordon’s horse is going to justify his lofty price tag. I think he’ll be too good for Bucks Billionaire.

He’s in good form and likes the level track, but if Malone Road is what he’s supposed to be, he’ll be hard to beat.

*All odds correct at time of posting

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What do you think?