Ruby Walsh believes the lack of fans at Doncaster’s St Leger Festival will highlight a weak card while the expectation that Cheltenham Festival is likely to be restricted access next year is another blow to the racing community.
Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, the 41-year-old reaffirmed his love of this week’s meeting in Yorkshire and picked out two horses to watch but isn’t convinced by the quality that will be on show.
I’ve looked at the Doncaster card ahead of this week, and have previously been to the meeting and had a great day out there with Clondaw Warrior running in the Doncaster Cup on the Friday. Myself and my wife Gillian went and we had great fun.
But I think four days with a reduced or no crowd, will expose the Doncaster meeting for how little quality racing it actually has.
I think Logician, yes he’s in a conditions race but he looks head and shoulders above the opposition. You’ve got a couple of Group 3 Listed races, and the Doncaster Cup on Friday is probably the highlight.
And I think Nayef Road could get his day. He’s been banging on the door in a lot of the Cup races, and two-and-a-quarter miles at Doncaster will suit him.
But again, with the prize money the way it is and the Doncaster Cup never being a huge pot, you have no Stradivarius.
Meanwhile, Cheltenham will probably be restricted capacity next season and it doesn’t give you a big lift to hear that It brings into reality more and more that this is not a short-term situation. It is a long-term thinking. It is disappointing and I feel sorry for those who will be restricted from going.
I could do with some of Paddy’s positivity. The mundaneness of our new normal is settling in and the thought of having nothing to look forward to is tough to take.
Champions Weekend is coming up but it won’t be the same. Listowel will follow and that won’t be the same. We have to find something to look forward to.
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