Ruby Walsh: I’m hoping Minella Beau can tie up Sunday’s Cork National

Ruby's running with Minella Beau in the big race at Cork on Sunday, and he's given us his best bets on the card there and at Naas....


13:35 Cork 3m Novice Hurdle

Getareason was disappointing in Limerick. He raced too keenly and didn’t quite get home.

Paul Townend gave Robin de Carlow a very good ride there to win the mares hurdle, the others went to fast and she picked up the pieces.

There’s not a whole pile of difference between the two of these. Robin de Carlow get 7lbs off Getareason, so that could be the difference, but they’re both in good form.

2017 Galway Festival Day 4, Ballybrit, Galway 3/8/2017
The Guinness Novice Hurdle
Paul Townend on Robin Des Foret
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

There’s Naaaay-where better for Racing odds than

14:10 Cork Grade 3 Novice Chase

This looks to be between the top three.

Robin de Foret probably wouldn’t want too much more rain. He’s shown he can handle good ground through the summer, he’s been banging on the door in a lot of races and finished second to Le Richebourg the last day.

He’s a decent horse, he doesn’t want too much rain, but this looks like an opportunity for him if it does stay dry.

Of the rest, Winter Escape was very good in Galway, and he’d probably want the wetter ground.

15:15 Paddy Power Cork Grand National 

Minella Beau just lacks the bit of experience you’d want, that’d be your big worry for him, and it’s a competitive race, but he’s in good form.

He’s rated at 132, he’s 2lbs too high for the rated novice chases, and when you look at the graded races with Robin de Foret and the like, he’s rated too low to be taking those on, so handicapping is his best option.

He does seem to be in good order even though he lacks experience, he’s a good jumper, I think he’ll get the trip and he’ll run a good race.

He’ll win one these big handicaps, I’m just not certain Sunday will be his day. I hope it is.

Out of Gordon Elliott’s four, you’re looking for the improver. It’s hard to see much improvement in Rogue Angel or Timyan, so maybe there’d be some in Poormans Hill or Out Sam.

16:25 Cork Bumper

Northern Belle won in Clonmel but I think Patrick Mullins’ made the right choice with Royal Illusion here. It’s a little ironic to be saying a 6-year-old could be improving, but she has improved from her first run, and I think she’ll be hard to beat to be honest.

Naas Racing, Naas Racecourse, Co. Kildare 7/1/2018
The I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle
A view of the first race
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

15:00 Naas November Handicap

Willie has ten of the twenty runners here, it’s their last shot at a flat race this season.

Limini ran well in Newmarket and just didn’t get home, but the handicapper has her, and it’s the same for Whiskey Sour and Nessun Dorma.

Colm Keane’s on Stratum and he’s in really good order, he raced a bit too keenly in the English Cesarewitch but he’s working really well and definitely one of our big runners here.

Uradel ran a blinder behind Low Sun in the Cesarewitch too, and carries his penalty for that, but is in good order and improving.

2018 Galway Racing Festival Day 1, Ballybrit, Galway 30/7/2018
The Connacht Hotel (Q.R.) Handicap
Aubrey McMahon onboard Uradel comes home to win the fifth race ahead of Patrick Mullins onboard Limini
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Chelkar’s been very disappointing since Ascot. I’ve been riding him myself in work the last couple of mornings, I think he’s in good form, but he’s been very disappointing this season. The price he’s at, he’s worth an each-way punt at best.

We held on to Pakora because we’re waiting on the rain. She likes an ease in the ground, so the more rain that falls the better chance she has.

Exchange Rate is sneaking his way up the weights as well with good runs but not getting his head in front in handicaps.

I’m not sure there’s much left in his handicap mark, but he’ll pay his way through the winter over hurdles.

Ben Coen’s on Makitorix, who has been unbelievably disappointing in his last few starts. He’s not brigning his homework to the racecourse at all. Maybe he will in this.

Pleasure Dome didn’t get much a run in the Irish Cesarewitch. Drop back in trip won’t really suit, but she’s in good form and has no weight on her back. If she gets away, gets going early and into a good position she’ll run a big race.

16:05 Naas Finale Stakes

Law Girl didn’t get much of a run at Lingfield during the week, she got knocked around a bit early in the straight, she’s taking a chance hoping to get some black type. Riven Light’s in really good form but I personally think a mile-and-a-half stretches him. He hasn’t run since Korea, and he’s in good order, but I think it’s too far for him.

Ruby’s Best Bets on Sunday

16:25 Cork: Royal Illusion
14:10 Cork: Robin de Foret – 11/8
15:15 Cork: Minella Beau – 7/1
15:00 Naas: Chelkar E/W – 20/1

*All odds correct at time of posting

Saddle up with Ruby’s Best Bets for Sunday on

What do you think?