From the Horse’s Mouth: Ruby NOT impressed with stewards’ Curragh call

Ruby Walsh was back on our From The Horse's Mouth podcast this week and he didn't take too kindly to being described as 'Mr Unreliable' by our genial host Tom Nugent.

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Our chat didn’t get off to a great start as Ruby took umbrage to suggestions that his loyalty to our broadcast was flaky after he missed just one week due to his staycation somewhere on this wonderful island of ours.

While Mick Fitzgerald did a wonderful job in Ruby’s absence last week, I have to stick up for Mr Walsh here as he has been a stellar contributor to the podcast since we started it up last year and he was on top form after his week away getting a spray tan and recharging those batteries.

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It didn’t take long for Ruby to start venting his annoyance on one of his favourite topics, as he questioned why the stewards reversed the second and third-place finishers in the big Grade 1 feature race at the Curragh last weekend.

Lucky Vega was an impressive winner of the Phoenix Stakes, but the stewards decided to reverse the second and third placings and demote Aloha Star after what was deemed to be careless riding by jockey Chris Hayes.

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Ruby was not impressed and there may have been a few old wounds hanging over from his own clashes with stewards as he vented his annoyance in colourful fashion.

Dangerous riding is a complex issue in racing and it will always be subjective, with Ruby suggesting any attempt by stewards to try and make the issue a little more clear will backfire.

Ruby’s glorious days in the saddle may be over, but he still thinks and talks like a jockey and that is one reason why he is a masterful pundit every week on the podcast.

I reckon it would be great if we had an ex-jockey on the stewards panel when they are coming to these decisions because unless you have been in the eye of the storm and understand exactly what’s going on, you can’t give a judgement on right and wrong.

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I’m not sure how I’d feel if three posh lads in suits called me into their office for a chat about dangerous riding and they have never been involved in a race in their life.

Ruby insists he always had respect for stewards, but this is an age-old debate that will never have a definitive answer.

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WE were chatting about the legend that is Best Mate on the pod and I aired my somewhat controversial view that he was a bit lucky in some of his legendary Cheltenham Gold Cup wins.

I know he was a beloved horse, but I felt he got the run of the race on a couple of occasions at Cheltenham and never felt he was the kind of dominant wonder horse many hailed him to be as he won the big race in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

This sport is all about opinions and I’m sure a few people will shoot me down on the subject of Best Mate, but I’m standing by my guns on this one!

LAST Sunday’s Phoenix Stakes at The Curragh was a cracking race and Lucky Vega looks like a star in the making as he pulled away from the field to snatch a win in the big Grade 1 feature.

Ruby Walsh and I had a chat about the race and he joins me in suggesting we can expect big things from the Jessica Harrington-trained flyer in the next couple of years.

Moone-based trainer Jessica is serving up one great horse after the next right now and it is wonderful to see a few challengers to the O’Brien dynasty bursting through.

WE have some great racing at Newbury today and I’m seeing up a tenting double for you here that could fund what we now all call a ‘substantial meal’ for you and the family tomorrow.

I’m going for Hukum in the 3pm today as he looks to make the step up to Group 3 and I like the look of Surf Dancer in the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes that follows at Newbury.

A little €10 on those two would bring in a handsome €390.00 if those two live up to my billing and romp home for wins.

RUBY’S BANKER – Dream of Dreams in the 3.35pm at Newbury

This horse was second in this race two years ago, he’s won over seven furlongs in the past on good to soft ground and his last run was a cracker when he was a second at Royal Ascot.

For me, he’s the class horse in the race and even though he is the favourite, it is hard to back against him.

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