Ruby Walsh has picked out five of the best bets to consider at Leopardstown this afternoon, including the hot favourite in the headline Irish Champion Stakes.
Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, Ruby has finally been convinced by Ghaiyyath but the Godolphin-owned superstar is not our man’s top pick from Saturday’s schedule.
This is a cracking contest. I’ve been with FANCY BLUE in France in the Prix de Diane, I was with her in the Nassau at Goodwood and I’m not going to desert her today.
She drops back a couple of furlongs in trip, from 10 furlongs to a mile but the Prix de Diane was a tactically run race and Fancy Blue had the gears to hold off Peaceful on that occasion. Albigna hasn’t quite lived up to her reputation that she had as a two-year-old. Maybe she will, but from two to three there is a difference – we saw that with Pinatubo. I think Fancy Blue could give Donnacha O’Brien his first Group 1 on Irish soil.
I think to go from a maiden into a Group 2 and just get touched off is a progression, so I think CADILLAC – back at a track he’s won at – could be a good bit shorter than he is now and definitely sets the standard.
I do think it’s interesting that Aidan O’Brien has chosen to run a maiden in Van Gogh. That either says that they’re expecting more from Van Gogh or it means that they don’t think an awful lot of the winners they have. Ryan Moore rides Van Gogh but I think Cadillac has stepped forward from day one to day two and I think he’ll progress again.
GHAIYYATH has been in incredible form this season, from the Coronation Cup at Newmarket where he beat stayers in Stradivarius and Anthony van Dyck to the Eclipse where he got a bit of a solo out front where he was allowed to completely dictate it, steady the race up around the bottom bend and stroll away up the Esher Hill to beat Enable and Japan.
He then went to York where he beat Magical and was allowed to gallop along in front at a much higher tempo then see them off really well. It’ll be interesting as there is no doubt Ballydoyle have to try something Ghaiyyath is coming into Aidan O’Brien’s back yard so they’re going to throw it at him.
That may be sending Armory with Ghaiyyath and keeping him honest. They’re not going to be bumping and banging off him but they could send one with him and keep him honest all the way. Maybe that could set it up for Japan or Sottsass coming from off the pace but with the form Ghiayyath has been in this year – I wasn’t with him before but I find it so hard to oppose him now.
I think by 4.45pm on Saturday you will have watched a lot of racing, and what has happened throughout the day will sway your opinion about what will happen here. If Wichita has bounced back to winning ways after his last run, where he was reported to have an irregular heartbeat, you can make a case for Vatican City on the same reasoning. He ran at Goodwood and was reported to have an irregular heartbeat, but if he’s over it then you are going to look at him.
If One Master has gone and won at Doncaster, you’re going to be looking at SAFE VOYAGE here. I think what you’re going to fancy in this race will be determined by what else has already happened on Saturday. Right here and right now, I’d be for Safe Voyage – I was very impressed with Safe Voyage beating One Master at York – but I would also be watching what happens throughout the day first.
Same as the last race, if Santiago blows out in the St Leger then are you really wanting to steam into Tiger Moth in this race? I know it’s only a Group 3 but PATRICK SARSFIELD flew up through the ranks up to a mile and a quarter, then ran in a Group 1 in Germany on his last start and finished third. They’re dropped him back to a Group 3 and gone up in distance trying to find more improvement. If Santiago happens to finish fourth or fifth, you might think that is the actual value of the Irish Derby form and that makes Tiger Moth vulnerable. Patrick Sarsfield could then be the one.
*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy new widgets
Ruby Walsh’s Leopardstown bet summary – Saturday, September 12
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