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Ruby Walsh: The latest on Un de Sceaux, Hurricane Fly and my best rides at Leopardstown on Sunday

Close but no cigar at Doncaster - but I'll be looking to make up for that at Leopardstown on Sunday.

by Ruby Walsh | January 24, 2015

Arkle Novice Steeplechase 1.40pm 

Un de Sceaux seems in really good form at home and has been schooling and working well since his win at Fairyhouse.

This is his stiffest task to date as he tackles Grade One company over fences and even though there’s just three runners – Gilgamboa and Clarcam are no slouches.

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Three runner races can normally be a problem but there’ll be no-one looking for a tactical edge here – Un de Sceaux will just bomb off in front and it’ll be up to the others to catch him.

There’s no margin for error the way he races. He’s always going forward at speed and the others will have to decide whether they try and stay with him or wait and try to challenge late on.

Either way it’ll be all systems go from the start.


  • Will the Hurricane fly home again? All the latest odds on desktop | mobile 

Irish Champion Hurdle 2.45pm 

I’m hoping Hurricane Fly can come back to the sort of reception he got when he won at Leopardstown over Christmas and keep his unbeaten record at the Dublin track intact.

It takes two to make a race of it and I think a lot of people are appreciating what an achievement it is for this 11-year-old to still be winning Grade One races.

Jezki is getting closer and Arctic Fire were on our heels that day and both are sure to be the main challengers again.

The rest of the field needs one of us not to be at our best on Sunday to make the frame on that form.

Will the ‘drier’ ground bother the Fly. I don’t think so – it’s just that he handles heavier ground better than the other pair so they mightn’t be as inconvenienced if the going is a bit quicker like they were at Christmas.

Hurricane Fly should jump better than he did in the Ryanair Hurdle. He was a bit spooked after jumping a shadow at the first and never really got into a proper rhythm after that.

He’s won on the inner course, the outer course and on all types of ground at Leopardstown before so I’ve no concerns on the front.

Killutagh Vic, 3.15pm 

This is a good contest and I’m hoping Killutagh Vic can improve on his Ascot run be4hind L’Ami Serge.

I’ve huge respect for the winner but ‘Vic’ never really ran his race. I was a little disappointed that he wasn’t a better ‘second’ and if Paul Nicholls’ horse hadn’t fallen he would have been a distant third.

He never picked up in the straight and I thought it was a tame effort.

This will be a very informative contest with No More Heroes and Windsor Park at the top of the market but Killutagh Vic has a solid each-way chance.


Heathfield, 3.50pm

I rode Mydor for Tony Martin to win a handicap hurdle last weekend and I think his Heathfield will run a big race on Sunday. He jumps well and stays strongly and was second in a handicap hurdle at Bath earlier this month but before that won a 2m 6f chase at Uttoxeter.

Henry de Bronhead’s Bishops Road has his first run in a handicap and if the six-year-old Riverside City came back to his hurdle form he could be a dark horse.

Fugi Mountain, 4.20pm 

He’s been working well and I like what I’ve seen of him on the gallops at Closutton.

Willie (Mullins) had a good bumper winner with Stone Hard at Gowran Park last Thursday and Balko Des Flos won the bumper here last Sunday so Fugi Mountain would need to be winning here also to make the bus for Cheltenham.

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