Ruby Walsh: I’m hoping it’s a Stormy Saturday at Punchestown

I'd a couple of decisions to make at Punchestown and I've gone for Cadmium & Stormy Ireland but I'll also be keeping a close eye on Cheltenham's November meeting ...

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Punchestown Saturday 13.10

We’ve two runners in the novice chase and I’ve gone for Cadmium who finally got his head in front when beating Ornua around here last month. He’s only another fortnight left as a novice, but has a lot of experience and has done very little wrong so far.

Voix de Reve was very good in Galway on his first start over fences beating Mind’s Eye and looks to be a horse with a future over fences too.

I think that one of them should win – I just hope I’m on the right one!

Punchestown, Saturday 14.20

We throw three darts at the board here and I’d a choice to make again.

Good Thyne Tara was a bit keen at Limerick last time and dropping back to 2m 2f should suit her. Paul Townend rides and he won on her at Gowran Park the time before that.

Ria D’etel is running for the first time since April 2016 when she was beaten by Missy Tata in a mares’ novice hurdle in April 2016. She picked up an injury and is just getting back into it but seems to be working reasonably well at home.

Stormy-Ireland

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I’ve gone for Stormy Ireland though who was a decent juvenile last season and beat Good Thyne Tara in a Listed Hurdle at Killarney earlier this year. She also finished third to Mister Dino in a Grade 3 Hurdle at Auteuil last June.

She’s very keen in her races and is hard enough on herself at home as well, so should be fit coming here.

She’s in good order but it’s a case of hoping that I’ve picked the right one.

Punchestown Saturday 3.25

Rebel Og was an impressive winner of a bumper at Downpatrick when hosing up by 17-lengths. It’s hard to judge how good that form is – but he’ll look to follow up here under Patrick Mullins.

Coneygree-(l)-Gold-Cup-win

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Most of the attention in the jumps world will focus on day two of Cheltenham’s November meeting.

The Worlds End always looked a chaser in the making to me but did win a Grade One hurdle before his form tailed off a little. He can start to fulfil his potential over fences now, particularly if he’s filled out into his frame and got off to a winning start at Chepstow last time. He looks progressive.

If former Gold Cup winner Coneygree turns up, these handicappers will struggle to go the gallop he sets. He’s an incredible horse to ride in a race against but injuries have curtailed his career since that memorable day at the Festival. However, Sue Smith’s Sharp Response was very good at Carlisle and will be staying on at the end when some of these have cried enough.

The VCBet Gold Cup 2.25pm is a race that suits second-season novices and it’s no surprise that Rather Be and Mister Whitaker are at the top of the market. They fought out the Close Bros Chase last March where Mister Whitaker won by a head. He was impressive at Carlisle on his return and although this is Rather Be’s first run since then, the weight swing is in his favour.

I’m drawn to two others though a little further down the handicap.

Colin Tizzard’s horses are in great form, so his West Approach under the champion jockey Richard Johnson has a big chance. So does Movewiththetimes as jockey Barry Geraghty is down to ride at 10st 5lbs. That tells its own story.

Royal Illusion is a six-year-old mare and has won her two bumpers. She improved from her first start to her second run, is in really good form and will take her chance in the Listed bumper on Saturday that brings the curtain down on day two at Cheltenham.

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