Ruby Walsh: My best bets at Ascot and Navan on Saturday

I want my heart to rule my head for once.



There’s loads of action this weekend and the first race we’ll look at is the mares race over 2m 7f at 13.50 at Ascot where Magic of Light has been in great form this season, since running third to Bacardys at Navan and then winning easily at Newbury.

However, the one I like is Oliver Sherwood’s Papaguna. Her run behind The Worlds End and L’Ami Surge on her last start in a Grade One at Ascot is rock solid.

I’ll go for her to beat Magic of Light.


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The feature race of the weekend is the 15.35 at Ascot where Defi Du Seuil and Un De Sceaux go toe-to-toe in the Clarence House Chase having finished first and second in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.

Defi Du Seuil is the younger horse and probably open to more improvement, but if Ascot is very, very soft- that will play to Un De Sceaux’s strengths and that might give him a chance of turning the form around. My heart says Un De Sceaux, but my head says Defi Du Seuil.

I hope my heart wins though.

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In Ireland on Saturday, Willie Mullins saddles both Hybery and Fils Spirituel in the 2m 4f maiden hurdle at Navan 13.20. I thought Fils Spirituel would win at Leopardstown over Christmas but the 2m trip just proved a little bit inadequate for him.

He steps up to 2m 4f on Saturday and I think he’ll win.

The 13.55 is the Navan Handicap Hurdle over 2m 4f and Willie Mullins saddles Dolciano Dici who ran really well in another handicap hurdle at this track a couple of weeks ago.

However, Gordon Elliott’s The Bosses Oscar looks to have a nice racing weight of 10-10.  He won a maiden hurdle at Leopardstown last month, is making his handicap debut and Davy Russell rides.

That form looks solid and he could be well handicapped.

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Minella Indo is the star name in the Beginners Chase at 15.05 where Willie Mullins runs Harrie and Ifyoucatchmenow.

Henry de Bromhead’s runner hasn’t been seen since chasing Laurina home in a beginners chase at Gowran Park late last year. A dual Grade One winning hurdler last season – he looks a star in the making.

He is going to be very hard to beat.

The card ends as usual with a 2m NH Flat Race at 16.10 where Don’t Tell Allen is ridden by Patrick Mullins. However, he’ll have to run to a very high standard to beat Eskylane who was second on debut to Assemble, just ahead of Appreciated.

Both have franked the form since with maiden hurdle and bumper wins at Limerick and Leopardstown last month.

That form should be good enough here.

*Prices and entries correct at publication

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What do you think?