RUBY’S TRIUMPH HURDLE TIP NON RUNNER MONEY BACK
The Cheltenham Festival 2023 is just four weeks away and jump jockey icon turned tactical guru Ruby Walsh and top pundit Rory Delargy are with us every week to hopefully get you more bang for your buck.
The Triumph Hurdle is the first race on Day 4 of this year’s Cheltenham Festival, and the lads have been looking at the markets to hopefully find you a winner as we gear up for the final day.
Lossiemouth is the current favourite at the time of writing but there are plenty of others who could be in the reckoning. So who might be worth a flutter?
RUBY WALSH: Triumph Hurdle
Lossiemouth was unlucky at the Dublin Racing Festival. She ran into a good bit of trouble at the third-last hurdle, again at the back of the second last hurdle, and Gala Marceau got a run on her.
That’s the popular opinion, but when you watch the race from start to finish, I’d say Gala Marceau did plenty wrong from the second hurdle all the way until they crossed the road at Leopardstown.
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She over-raced, she was very keen, she was in and out from behind Lossiemouth.
Lossiemouth then lost her position when Gala Marceau got in and was in the wrong place, but when you look at it and break it back down, Gala Marceau looks to have improved since Christmas.
For me – given Lossiemouth was a short-priced favourite on the day and heads the Triumph Hurdle market – should have been able to overcome one or two things going against her and still win.
When you can’t overcome one – I know two went against Lossiemouth that day – that doesn’t put you that far in front of the opposition. Without bad luck, would she have won the race?
She probably would, but if you’re steaming into one, you have to hope that you can overcome some little bit of bad luck and still win. If a race needs to go perfectly for your pick to win it, then you need to factor that into the price.
Willie Mullins commented afterwards that he was worried about Lossiemouth having had a ‘hard’ race. He was probably thinking: “She’s dropped to last, she’s had to run a race just to get back into the contest and and then run another race to catch up.”
In his mind he’ll be thinking she’s almost run two races at the end of one. Will she get over it?
She looks 100 per cent at home since then but how could you tell? It’s only nine days since she ran, she won’t have done that much work. When will we know? Probably facing up to the last jump in the Triumph Hurdle.
Has it left its mark or not? You can’t find out at home as you will leave another mark on her by trying too. You’ll end up emptying out whatever energy she has. So it’s just a chance everyone has to take I’m afraid. She should be able to get over it, it’s five weeks since that run at the DRF to Cheltenham. She should be able to recover and Willie will be conscious of that.
He’ll be trying to freshen her up as best he can.
I don’t think Gala Marceau got the credit she deserved for beating Lossiemouth at Leopardstown. She did plenty wrong. she was very keen, her jumping got better as the race went on but I think we all got caught focussing on Lossiemouth and stopped looking at the winner and what the winner had done. I thought she did plenty wrong and still won well.
Blood Destiny was very impressive at Cork, he won well at Fairyhouse, he’s had to make the running twice. They were two average races definitely and he was really, really impressive.
I’m a fan, I think he’s very good.
I thought he was very good at Fairyhouse. He was impressive. It was a case of he was short-priced favourite both days, nobody was going to give him a lead, no-one was going to give him a hand to go about his business so they were all going to sit behind him, so that’s just the way it transpired. What will he do come March? Who knows, he could be a better horse again getting a tug into the race.
Verdict: I’m weak on the Triumph Hurdle. I don’t have a strong opinion and I don’t envy Paul Townend having to make a choice. Maybe he has something to prove on Lossiemouth, but that’s pride – this is about percentages for a jockey! Maybe that’s the way he’ll look at it – which one of these will win so which one of these if I ride is going to hurt the least if it loses?
I don’t know who he’ll ride.
I’ve often had that argument myself– you sit there and think: “I don’t know which one to ride”. You sit down and you’ll have an opinion but that’s all it is – an opinion.
But Paul has to pick one or the other, not just offer an opinion. He has to decide.
For me, the gelding Blood Destiny is a very good horse. But I’m not 100 per cent sure on this race.
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