Ruby Walsh returns to action at Listowel today and is in the saddle for the first time since breaking his ankle. The champion jockey has two rides this afternoon and will be hoping to mark his return with a winner. He gave the Paddy Power Blog his exclusive thoughts on those two rides.
2.50pm Listowel, Kerrymaid Hurdle
I’m not so sure how heavy it was at Tramore. I watched the race and I didn’t think it looked as soft as it was supposed to be so the ground will still be a worry for Rattan . Dessie Hughes’ horse Earlson Gray hasn’t run in 595 days but was in Willie Mullins yard before. We thought quite a bit of him to be honest when we had him. He’s seven years old now and hasn’t ran in a long time so we should have the fitness edge over him but he could be the big danger.
3.20pm Listowel, Charleville Cheese Maiden Hurdle
Connaught Manor was disappointing last time and can be quite keen. Patrick (Mullins) dropped him in a bit when he won his bumper in July. He jumper a bit erratically in Galway but then jumped a lot better at Bellewston and they said to me yesterday they ran quite free with him.
It’s a competitive race with Minella For Value with David Russell who seems all the range right now. Roadtoabbeyfeale is a local horse that will get supported. I haven’t spoken to Willie yet but I’d imagine we’ll be trying to get Connaught Manor to settle a bit better today, take our time and try to come home with a good run and get as close as we can. You have to say he was disappointing at Bellewstown because he ran to free.
I’d say he’s a good each-way shout. He’s by Pilsudski but it’s hard to know if he’ll go on this real heavy ground. He won a two-and-a-half mile bumper so the trip should be ok but if he pulls to hard he has no chance on the ground. We have to get him to settle whatever happens.