Ruby Walsh has picked out his best bets ahead of a packed day of racing at Cheltenham.
Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, our resident jockey-turned-pundit is confident with his quartet of selections for the second day of the Showcase meeting.
Obviously Allmankind is rock solid. He was third in the Triumph Hurdle – would have been fourth if Goshen had not fallen – and he was the horse that went up with Goshen on the front end. That’s the way he likes to race. He likes to get on with things.
But I am a BOTOX HAS fan. I thought he was really good at Cheltenham when I saw him last December. I know he was second to Allmankind in November but I thought Botox Has improved when he went to Cheltenham in December and beat Langer Dan and Elysian Flame. He hasn’t run in a long time and I suppose when looking at stable form Gary Moore is only one from 35 in the last fortnight whereas Dan Skelton is 10 from 41. The strike rate percentage is 3 per cent to 24 per cent and Dan’s yard is definitely in form. Maybe Saturday won’t be Botox Has’ day but I think he is a horse to follow for the season.
I really fancy PILEON. I think the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle form is rock solid. Obviously he was second in this race last season to Indefatigable, third was Great White Shark and fifth was The Bosses Oscar. None of that form means he can jump a fence but he’s just a horse I really like.
Flink had a run at Chepstow in the Silver Trophy over 2m3f, and that wasn’t that long ago. He’s come pulling out quick enough, but I’m not certain about the trip for him. His one disappointing run was at this trip and a lot of his form is better going a bit shorter.
Honest Vic ran a cracker in the Coral Cup to finish fifth behind Dame De Compagnie. Tobefair was sixth behind Lisnagar Oscar in the Stayer’s Hurdle. There are some quality horses in here, no doubt about that, but I came down on the side of NEVILLES CROSS, I just thought a five-year-old, with Robbie Power doing 10st4 for Tom Lacey, who is proven at the trip… his last win at Hereford was over 3m1f – Richard Johnson rode him that day. I think he’s an improving horse and going the right way. Nevilles Cross, with a light weight on his back, is the one for me.
There are loads of horses to like. Frodon is up to 3m1f with plenty of weight – we know how popular a horse he is. West Approach loves it around Cheltenham, especially over fences, and was unlucky in this race last year before going back in November and getting an incredible ride from Robbie Power to win. I find it interesting that Robbie Power is at the meeting this weekend but Harry Cobden rides this horse.
Cloth Cap has a chance but COBRA DE MAI was sixth at the Cheltenham Festival behind The Conditional. He had a disappointing run at Fontwell at the start of the month but I think that might have just opened his pipes. He has a run under his belt, fitness on his side, and I think that run at the Cheltenham Festival will put him bang there.
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Ruby Walsh’s Cheltenham bet summary – Saturday, October 24
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