Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey have selected their best bets ahead of a packed weekend of racing action, although the former has covered his back with a cheeky back-up in case his first shout goes awry.
Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s twice-weekly From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, Ruby has concentred on Friday’s meeting at Listowel while Frank is adamant he’s picked a winner at Newmarket.
4.55pm Listowel, Friday – Mt Leinster
I think MT LEINSTER will be hard to beat on Friday evening at Listowel. Patrick Mullins rides him in an amateur race and I think he’s an outstanding chance.
5.25pm Listowel, Friday – BROOKLYNN GLORY
I think that if Mt Leinster fails, BROOKLYNN GLORY will win the bumper.
LUCKY VEGA in the Middle Park Stakes. I was a little bit surprised that Lucky Vega wasn’t favourite, to be honest. I just think there are holes to be picked in Method and Minzaal.
Minzaal was impressive on the clock when winning at Salisbury and was impressive at York but I don’t think that form was brilliant. The second, Devilwala, was run over in the Mill Reef at Newbury, the third Mystery Smiles was third in the Group 3 Sirenia Stakes at Kempton, the fifth Mohawk King was well-beaten in the Flying Childers at Doncaster. The horse that was last in the Gimcrack, Ubettabelieveit, did win the Flying Childers but he didn’t run his race at all in York – he was nearly pulled up.
Method is two from two, winning a Listed race at Newbury the last day but he’s been off since, and I don’t think that was by design. That run was in July and I would just be a bit concerned that maybe he hit a small setback.
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Lucky Vega brings the strongest form into the race. Very impressive win on debut at Naas when green, and there were an absolute host of subsequent winners behind him that day. Lipizzaner, Eastern Voice, Battleground, Coill Avon, Laws Of Indices, Ontario, Turbo Spirit – they were all behind and they’ve all won races since.
He’s had a seven-week break, I think he had a small bit of an issue, but came back and was second in the Group 2 Railyway Stakes at The Curragh behind Law Of Indices. He needed the run, and then went down to the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes and was wildly impressive – travelled like a dream. When Shane Foley pressed the button, he was gone.
And the last day at the National Stakes was just a messy race and he got the worst of it. He got absolutely mullered and got no run at all, but was only beaten by two-and-a-half lengths. I think with a clear run he would have given Thunder Moon a right race. And just looking at the prices, he should be far shorter. He should be favourite – clear favourite – and I’m very bullish about his chances.
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Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey’s best bets this weekend
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