Ruby Walsh: Andy Dufresne is a bird that’s not meant to be caged

At the weekend, Gordon Elliott's charge crawled through a river of sh*t and came out clean on the other side.


Andy Dufresne performance

People are saying Andy Dufresne was far from impressive over the weekend – I don’t agree with that. I’d say it was a good race between himself and Captain Guinness. They went a really good gallop and they went at it from a long way out. Andy Dufresne showed great guts to out battle Captain Guinness who raced a bit unprofessionally. But I think the Irish novices could be very good.

Read: Paul Jacobs’ 4 best Cheltenham bets in the Non-Runner No Bet Market

Thyme Hill and the standard of novices across the water

Thyme Hill would look to be the best of them, him and Fiddlerontheroof who won in Sandown. They’re the two to beat from the UK.

All roads lead to the Ryanair for Frodon this year again

You’d have to think he’d be a little bit better going in the opposite direction. He jumped out to his left all the way. He won it well last year and he looks to be in good heart going back there this year.

Clarence House showdown between Defi Du Seuil and Un De Sceaux

It’s take-two in this showdown. Hopefully, Un De Sceaux will get the weather he likes. The Tingle Creek was Un De Sceaux’s first run this season. Defi Du Seuil had a run in the Shloer Chase, so he might have had the edge in terms of fitness but ‘Defi’ was stepping into Grade 1 Open company for the first time as well so he’ll probably have improved for that experience. 

The more rain that falls, the better chance it gives Un De Sceaux to turn the tables but I’d say they’re priced correctly. 

That said ‘Defi’ is the younger horse so he’s open to a bit more improvement. The Tingle Creek showed how incredible of a horse Un De Sceaux really is. Even watching him working, his appetite is incredible. He’s one of the horses I miss riding but I couldn’t come back and ride just him. He was a great horse and I was delighted to have ridden him so hopefully, he’ll give a good account of himself again this weekend.

Specific NRNB prices on certain Cheltenham 2020 races are right here