If Stones and Roses can reproduce his Tramore run and leave the Fairyhouse one behind, he’ll be there or thereabouts. The Tramore performance saw him stay on well to finish fifth, so a reproduction of that will have him in contention here.
Robin De Carlow is my ride in this. She’s obviously a course and distance winner but found the ground against her in Fairyhouse the last time. That’ll probably be the case again today, but it’s a Graded mares novice hurdle and you have to take the opportunities you can for black dye and their pedigrees. The ground is a worry for her though, and Sapphire Lady.
They were both good winners during the summer, you just wonder will either of them be able to handle the going here.
It’ll suit Ifyoucatchmenow, but you’d wonder if she’s good enough. Willie has three chances in this and I’d say he’d be delighted if any one of them could win.
Moskovite is the main danger. The Clonmel race she finished third in really worked out, with first and second there winning and placing in the Albert Bartlett.
If you do the maths on, about ten winners would be enough for Paul Townend in the Champion Jockey race. That’d make it really hard for Rachael Blackmore. Carefully Selected should be the first of those. His work is good, he missed out on the Albert Bartlett, we would’ve brought him to Cheltenham if he’d got in. He’s in great order.
It’s been the ground with him. He could even come out quite quickly again if he won this too. There are novice hurdles in Punchestown in a fortnight and he could reappear there.
Undressed has been a bit in-and-out, but again, we’re not sure we have had the ground for him. He’s been running on quickish surfaces all winter, this will suit him more. Wexford is a stiff enough track, Denis O’Regan is riding him and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in the places today.
For Redhotfillypeppers in the Mares Novice Chase, the ground will, suit, the trip will suit and the track will suit too! No negatives at all for her here, we just didn’t think she was of the standard to go to Cheltenham for the RSA. This is a more realistic option and I think she’ll be hard to beat.
Ontheropes was bitterly disappointing on his first start. His homework is not flashy, he’s a stayer, but we’ll be hoping he’ll be an awful lot better than his run. We were disappointed with him, but he’s a grinder, he’ll love the ground, it’ll be testing and it should suit him.
Monday at Navan
Cadmium won at Naas and was set to carry a huge weight in the Grand Annual so Willie opted to leave him at home and come here, but you’d have to have huge respect for Darasso. He looks the one to beat. He was very good in the Red Mills Hurdle, the soft ground really suited him. I’m not sure Cadmium would’ve been as impressive a winner as Darasso was of that race. Cadmium’s been a great servant and is in great form, but on rain-softened ground, Darasso is the one to beat in the 16:00 at Navan.
We have The Big Getaway in the bumper at 17:30 too. He bolted in a point-to-point, he goes well at home and will be hard to beat here.
Ruby’s Best Bets for Sunday
Soft Ground suits our horses, and wouldn’t be surprised if Willie was to have a good day today, but the stand out bet is Carefully Selected in the 15:10 at Limerick when he’s that price. Redhotfillypeppers would be the next best.