Ruby Walsh: Apple’s Jade sets the standard, but Faugheen is up for the fight

It's a big day at Leopardstown and Limerick on Friday and we've got racing's top jockey Ruby Walsh to zip through Willie Mullins' chances...


Leopardstown 12:10

Elite Charboniere is a nice horse at home and he goes well. We’re happy with how he’s schooled too.

We reckon he’s in good form and we’re pretty sure the two and half miles will suit him, so we’re hoping he’ll run a big race.

Leopardstown 12:45

Pleasant Company obviously a much better chaser than he is a hurdler, he rated a good bit lower over hurdles.

He has a nice weight on his back at 10st 9’, but he hasn’t run since the Grand National and that’s a long time ago.

He will probably benefit from the outing in this one.

Leopardstown 13:20

Bacardys has been very disappointing if I’m honest, but he does seem to be in good form at home.

He has plenty of experience and was very unlucky in this race last year.

I still believe he’s got a little bit to improve to beat Tower Bridge.

Leopardstown 13:50

Faugheen has been right up for it at home. Obviously, he’s not getting any younger, but we are happy with him.

Hopefully, the step up to three miles will bring about an improvement in him. That said, Apple’s Jade performance at Fairyhouse was breathtaking, she looks to be in really good form and she’s going to be hard to beat.

That’s why she is the odds-on favourite and she’s entitled to be that. Shaneshill has run well at Leopardstown in the past and he’ll hopefully pick up some place money.

Bapaume travelled really strongly in this race last year and just didn’t quite get home. He’s a year older now and he should be able for the trip, he could run a nice race too!

This is a very good race, but the question is, can anyone beat Apple’s Jade?

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Leopardstown 15:00

This is a cracking contest, Noel Meade has Road To Respect and Disko. Road To Respect was very good in Down Royal.

You have Monalee for Henry De Bromhead, will have improved from his run in Down Royal and he was good here last year in a novice race. You have Shattered Love, who ran a blinder in the John Durkan Memorial at Punchestown when she was just behind Min.

I ride Bellshill, who was placed in the Irish National and won the Punchestown Gold Cup. On ratings there’s not a whole lot between them, it’s a fascinating race. I suppose Road To Respect and Shattered Love might have a fitness edge over Bellshill.

But, we are happy with Bellshill, we think he’s in good order. Hopefully he can run a good race and lead onto the Irish Gold Cup in a month’s time.

Leopardstown 15:35

General Counsel is a lovely horse, he’s out of Josephine Cullen and she liked a bit of nice ground herself. She was a decent race mare.

He’s in training a long time and he’s fit, we’re pretty pleased with him.

I suppose our bumper horses haven’t been in the form we’d like, but this fella can turn it around.

Limerick 12:30

It’s a rated novice chase and we have Redhotfillypeppers in this one.

She’s a good jumper and she’ll love the soft ground. Paul Townend is going down to ride her too.

Hopefully, she’ll get the day off to a flyer for us.

Limerick 13:05

Undressed runs in the Veterans Handicap Chase here, he’d good first run for Willie Mullins and should improve on that.

He might prove very difficult to beat in this one.


Limerick 13:40

This will be a right battle as Farclas, Espoir D’Allen, Saglawy and Stormy Ireland take each other on.

I was very impressed by Stormy Ireland in Punchestown in her last start. Saglawy ran really well in a handicap, but I believe Stormy Ireland will have the legs on them here.

Limerick 14:10

We’ll finally get to see Annamix, who makes his debut in the maiden hurdle.

Hopefully he’s galloping horse as well as a talking horse!

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What do you think?