Ruby Walsh: Yorkhill could have a big say in today’s Kerry National

I'm hoping the glory days aren't fully behind him.

Ruby Walsh pose


If Yorkhill is ever going to have a big day again – it’s in today’s Kerry National (16.15).

He should be suited by the return to a left-handed track as he did well to win at Galway going right handed last time. That was his first win in two years where the small-runner field probably suited him.

Listowel has a running rail all around the inside, so he can’t really get away from you, and that should make him a much easier ride for Paul Townend.

He carries top-weight of 11-7 but don’t forget that Snow Falcon carried 11-5 to win here last year and I won it aboard Euro Leader years ago who carried 12 stone.

Carrying a big weight is doable and I’m not sure that there’s massive strength in depth in this year’s renewal.

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Yorkhill runs off a rating of 154 and for a horse we once thought was able to run to 174 – you could argue that he’s well in.
Maybe I’m being too sentimental, but if I was still riding I’d picking him, without a doubt.

I was keen he came here rather than go to Galway, but Willie Mullins was proved right again and he’s in good form at home. The win at Galway was a big confidence booster and it can be like a striker scoring a goal after a drought. It just flicks a switch and helps them to start believing in themselves again.

We’ll either be heroes or villains together.

His stablemate Some Neck will stay the trip, but all his best performances are in small fields, while 2m 6f looked too far for Pravalaguna when fading at Galway, so I don’t see her staying 3m here.

Of the others, Joseph O’Brien’s All the Answers could have a chance if he stays while Gordon Elliott’s Ravenhill, who was fifth in the Galway Plate and Internal Transfer trained by Eric McNamara all look to have a chance.

Enda Bolger’s Movewiththetimes will start favourite and over-jumped the fence he fell at when traveling well in the Galway Plate, For a one-time dodgy jumper, I’d have no worries about his ability now on the score. He just doesn’t look like value to me in a race like this though.


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Of Willie Mullins’ other runners on the card, Think Positive won at Tramore and stuck at it well. However, Darver Star sets a fairly high standard off a rating of 145 in the 2m 4f Novice Hurdle at 16:50 and I can’t see Paul Townend’s mount running to that level on just his second start over hurdles. Darver Star could run 5lb below his rating and still win this contest.

Bumper winner Rebel Og runs in a hot 2m maiden hurdle at 17.25 and although she’s improved since been beaten at Downpatrick – she’ll have to improve again to get her head in front here.

All Those Years, Exit Poll and Benruben are probably just that bit better than her at this stage.

In the concluding 2m 4f bumper at 17.55, Eurotiep is owned by the Down the Hatch syndicate which would be a local of the McMahons, so Aubrey rides him. He goes well and is a fine, big horse but the one doubt is that our bumper horses aren’t hitting the bullseye as regularly as they did.

*Prices correct at time of publishing 

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What do you think?