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Ruby Walsh: The four horses I’d love to ride at Cheltenham that pays £/€2155 in a £/€1 Lucky 15

He's the winning most rider in Cheltenham Festival history (41 wins) and the top jock in six of the last seven years. But Ruby still wants more....

by Ruby Walsh | February 26, 2015

Top jock and all-round prankster Ruby Walsh has a book of rides would make Hugh Hefner red with jealous rage.

But here’s four horses he’d love to get the leg over at Cheltenham 2015 – if only he could

Don Poli, National Hunt Chase, March 10, 4.40pm 

Don-Poli-840

I’ve had to be imaginative about this. Don Poli is owned by Gigginstown so Bryan Cooper has the mount. But if he was switched to the amatuers’ race – the 4m NH Chase – Patrick Mullins would ride him.

Stamina is not a problem. He settles well and is a good jumper. He’d be a penalty kick in this race an absolute nap.

Being a gallant loser is no good to you at Cheltenham – it’s all about winners.

Coneygree, RSA Chase, March 11, 2.05pm 

Coneygree-840

Don Poli could run in the RSA but so too could Coneygree if connections decide not to go down the Gold Cup route with what looks like England’s best staying novice chaser.

The English handicap certainly seems to think so and rates him 15lb better than Denman who I rode to win the RSA Chase by 10 lengths in 2007.

If he’s 15lb better than Denman on ratings – I’d want to be on Coneygree in the RSA.

Hargam, Triumph Hurdle, March 13, 1.30pm

Hargam-800-x-400

This looks a very open contest and his stablemate Peace or Co looks a strong ante-post favourite. But I think his stable mate Hargam will put it up to him.

He travels well in his race and jumps well so there’s no issues there.

He had the speed to win Musselburgh and the stamina to win at Cheltenham and that’s a deadly combination in a race like this.

Silviniaco Conti, Gold Cup, March 13, 3.20pm

Silviniaco-Conti-Gold-Cup-840

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There’s no doubt Silviniaco Conti is the the form horse going into the Blue Riband.

He’s got beaten on his debut but has since won impressively at Haydock and the King George at Kempton and is 11lb clear on ratings.

I don’t know why he stopped up the hill last year. Trainer Paul Nicholls has fitted cheekpieces and there was a suggestion that stomach ulcers were the problem last season when he wasn’t finishing his races strongly. But he sets the standard and that’s what you’re looking for in Grade One Championship races.

Silviniaco Conti has run in the Gold Cup twice before (fell in 2013 when travelling well and was fourth last year after a detour) – but he can make it third-time lucky this year.

Cheltenham NRNB 1430

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