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Ruby Walsh exclusive: ‘Frankel is different gravy’

by Josh Powell | June 19, 2012

Champion jockey Ruby Walsh spoke exclusively to the Paddy Power Blog ahead of the Royal Ascot festival.

Aside from the mountain of lobsters, the pink bubbly and the ridiculous headwear there is some top quality racing to be enjoyed.

We asked our man Ruby Walsh for his thoughts and tips on the opening day’s action.

2.30 Queen Anne Stakes

“Only bad luck will cost Frankel and bad luck for a flat horse is literally very bad luck. It’s on the straight course, over a straight mile and Bullet train will lead them on a good gallop.

“Frankel is head and shoulders the best horse and Tom has figured out the best way to ride him as well. You’d be looking for him to win impressively to get Ascot off to a good start.

“Excelebration is a good horse in his own right but he’s unfortunate to have come around at the same time as the superstar that is Frankel.

“Richard Hannon thinks an awful lot of Strong Suit but they thought a lot of Canford Cliffs last year and look what Frankel did to him. In fairness Frankel is different gravy and he’s definitely the one that will win.”

3.05 Kings Stand Stakes

“Twenty-three horses in this one and it depends which way the track rides. The ground won’t be quick enough for Sole Power who ran a cracker last time out at Haydock.

“I like the Australian horse Ortensia, the southern hemisphere horses seem to have a lot more about them than our horses when sprinting.

“He’s no Black Caviar but should have enough to beat the rest of these.”

3.45 St James Palace Stakes

“With the exception of Camelot the three-year-olds don’t look like superstars so I’m opposing Power.

“Joseph O’Brien gave him a brilliant ride to win the Irish 2000 Guineas and timed it brilliantly but Lucayan, the French horse, can win this one. Stephane Pasquier did very well on him in France and this one will run a big race.

“Born to Sea will suit going round the bend and he will be a good each-way price after running on very well in the Irish Guineas.”

4.25 Coventary Stakes

“There’s a lot of talk in the Hannon yard for Sir Prancealot, the one Richard Hughes rides. But Dawn Approach has been very good so far for Jim Bolger and is a great shout.

“He’s drawn in stall 13 so can go left or right depending where the better ground is. Kevin Manning can make up his mind where he wants to go and I’ve been impressed with him, he’s got a great chance.”

5.00 Ascot Stakes Handicap

“There’s plenty of each way value and Simenon has got great form. He hasn’t run for 360 days on the flat but he was a good winner over hurdles last time out and absolutely routed a fair field.

“He won at Cork in January and then I gave him a bad ride at Punchestown behind Trifolium in February. He went to Cheltenham and like a lot of Willie’s horses didn’t perform but he absolutely bolted up in the last one.

“Ryan Moore rides him and what more could you ask for.

Whatever is favourite will be an each-way price but Simenon is in good nick and will run a big race.

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