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It’s fairly obvious PALACE PIER will win. He’s the one they’ll all have to beat. It’s whether you want to back something against him each-way or without him. That’s about the only angle there is for punters unless you want to steam in. A winner’s a winner and maybe that’s the best thing to do.
If you have to go without the favourite, then maybe for Order of Australia without Palace Pier, but there’s no danger to Palace Pier. We’re wasting time talking about this race.
MASSETO wouldn’t have won at the Curragh but was an unlucky second to the highly-rated Castle Star. He’s by Territories and Donnacha O’Brien’s horses are definitely running better now than when he last ran. Gavin Ryan takes the ride and I like his chances in a big field.
I like EXTRAVAGANT KID‘s style of running for this, he’s a strong traveller but he does like to come at horses.
Battaash is surely going to make this a strong race. I’m sure Jim Crowley will try to keep the shackles on him, but he’s fresh and with the crowd cheering he’s going to want to rock and roll. If he starts to fade, Extravagant Kid will be coming at him.
LA BARROSA could outrun his odds. He’s had a couple of poor runs but they were on heavy ground and soft to heavy ground. He was disappointing at the Curragh behind Mac Swiney and he ran terrible at Saint-Cloud behind Van Gogh but they were on testing ground. He was second to Master of the Seas in the Craven and that’s a pretty good run and he won on his other two starts on decent ground at Ascot and at Newmarket.
CAPE GENTLEMAN is a 140-rated hurdler and M C Muldoon’s is rated 131. It could be a Mullins winner, but his nephew Emmet could be a thorn in Willie’s side. His Jumps form is stronger than M C Muldoon and he’s had one run on the Flat when winning the Irish Cesarewitch last year. He’s the solid one.
PATRICK SARSFIELD‘s a Group 3 winner having landed the Meld Stakes last year. My only worry would be the ground if it got really quick.
I’d be willing to give Juan Elcano another chance. He could be overpriced for an each-way shout.
I’m not going to oppose SALDIER as he’s 3lb well in in the UK compared to Ireland. He’s rated 102 in Ireland and runs off 99 in the UK.
He’s a Grade 1 winning hurdler in his own right. When he got to the start in Listowel and saw a set of stalls instead of flights of hurdles it changed his mentality and he absolutely hacked up.
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Ruby Walsh’s Tips Summary:
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