Ruby Walsh: My insider info on Willie Mullins’ stable stars

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Ruby Walsh Laurina

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In part two of Ruby’s stable tour, the Paddy Power Ambassador picks out a few familiar names and a couple of dark horses to follow throughout the season.

Draconien

He got injured last season but is schooling away again now and I actually schooled him myself last week. You’re always cautious about horses coming back from injury but he’s a forward going horse who is a good jumper. When you’re jumping fences there’s usually 12 or 13 fences in a two-mile race whereas there’s only eight over hurdles.

Laurina

I would imagine she’s goes chasing as she only had the three starts last year when she disappointed in the Champion Hurdle. She never sparkled and nothing really emerged to explain why that was. She never rose a gallop.

People seem interested in how far she can go over fences and with talk about the new mares chase at Cheltenham in 2020. But 18 months is a very long time in the life of a racehorse.

Ruby-Walsh-Laurina-Sandown-Jan-2019

Quick Grabim

He’s schooled well over fences and is a very accurate, fast, jumper. He’s going to be one of the first ones out and is nearly ready to go. Could run at Wexford next week.

Sharjah

The decision is still up in the air.

Bapaume

He might have reached his ceiling over hurdles so does that mean he has to go chasing. He’s not the biggest but has schooled and schooled well so we’ll have to see.

Annamix

He’s a great jumper but he’ll have to improve a lot from his hurdling days. His runs were nothing like what they were supposed to be given his home reputation. He’ll probably go chasing but he’s a name on reputation but not on form.

Stormy Ireland

She’s a brilliant jumper and there’s a great mares novice chase programme and she could be one to follow in them. There’s her and Laurina, but you need plenty of firepower, as we all know what can happen with chasers over a long season.

Stormy-Ireland

Allaho

Did very little wrong last season but has to improve to match Albert Bartlett winner Minella Indo, who he finished third to at Cheltenham. He narrowed the gap at Punchestown but got an over-reach (cut) early there and hung away from the injury and never really let himself down.

He looks great, is a brilliant jumper and he’ll be exciting. With a summer’s grass behind him he could improve that 6lbs to 8lbs that’s needed to match Minella Indo.

Carefully Selected

He missed Cheltenham but was just behind Allaho last year. He won a point-to-point for my dad, wants soft ground and is a brilliant jumper and stays forever. He could be one to watch this year.

Easy Game

A brilliant jumper of hurdles and although he fell just short of the best – he could improve over fences.

Blue Sari

His form looks rock solid after finishing runner-up to X in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham and that was a great effort for a four-year-old. Hopefully, he can progress along the right lines this season.

Jon Snow

The dry winter scuppered the schooling hurdles that are run in February or March at Thurles and the like so we’re a bit in the dark with a few of these younger horses. Normally, you’d have an idea about who you think could be good in their juvenile season, but we’re not sure yet. We never got the chance to see what’s under the bonnet.

He’s a gorgeous looking horse, who jumps well and does things well, but has never been asked the question. Rich Ricci would have a lot of great horses over the year and hopefully, he has a bright future but we won’t know until he’s asked the serious questions.

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Foveros

He’ll keep going. He’s a sharp little horse who disappointed us when he got beaten at Ballinrobe but won well at Galway over 2m 4f. He’s strengthened up a bit and could improve over the Winter. (won a novice hurdle at Galway at the end of October).

And the rest…

Cash Back and Breacon were two novice hurdlers who didn’t have much racing last season but they’re two forward going horses who jump really well.

Fast Buck will keep going too and should improve for his run at Limerick. Hopefully, the two could be heading toward the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse.

We toyed with running Blackbow in the Champion bumper on his first start of this season but Willie Mullins didn’t think it was the right thing to do. He’s a very talented and athletic horse who should be a brilliant jumper and will start off over hurdles.

Colreevy won the Champion bumper at Punchestown and looks in great order. She strengthened up over the Summer and we’ll be hoping she takes high rank I mares novices races.

Rayapour is an exciting horse and had good form in France. He’s been gelded so had some time off and is back cantering away. Hopefully, he can live up to his reputation in the juvenile division and it could be Christmas time before we see him.

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