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Ruby Walsh: I’m hoping some of my Killultagh Vic magic rubs off on Ballycasey in Thursday’s Thyestes Chase

by Ruby Walsh | January 20, 2016

Killultagh Vic is 100 per cent. We trotted him yesterday and all is good.

He won’t be in fast work again for another four or five days but he doesn’t look to be any worse for Sunday’s exertions.

I wasn’t really thinking anything when he over-jumped the last at Leopardstown  – I just kind of reacted.

He was tanking at the time and just jumped the last too well. I got lucky. When he landed and slithered, he did everything in a straight line. It meant I could stay on. If he had swerved left or right I was gone out the side door.

I know I lost a stirrup but every jockey should be able to ride without a stirrup. I’d no fences left to jump, but if I did I would have taken both feet out of the stirrups.

As soon as he stood up and I gave him a squeeze, he broke into a canter, then into a gallop and I could feel him accelerating. But it was probably seven or eight strides before it dawned on me that I could win.

It was a tremendous effort by him.

Ruby Walsh on Boston Bob

Hopefully there’ll be a little less drama if I’m in contention with some of these rides at Gowran Park on Thursday.

12:55 2m Hurdle

You don’t need me to tell you that Footpad looks the likely winner here after finishing third to Apple Jade at Leopardstown.

He should atone for getting beaten there and he should be too good for the other two. He’s held in high regard and we were disappointed at Christmas.

Although we haven’t given up on him as a Triumph Hurdle horse he’d certainly want to be winning here to justify that faith.

1:25pm Maiden Hurdle 2m

Au Quart De Tour fell at the last at Fairyhouse and let Willie Mullins down for a five-timer on the day.  His jumping until then had been really good, he’s in good form and dropping back to this 2m trip won’t be an inconvenience to him. He should make amends and can see off the likes of Noel Meade’s bumper winner Tamlough Boy who’s making his debut over obstacles.

2:00pm Grade 2 Galmoy Hurdle

Briar Hill is having his first start in 341 days in what looks a proper race.

There’s a few classy types here with race-fitness on their side including Alpha Des Obeaux and Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle winner Martello Tower who were second and third behind Prince of Scars in the Grade One three-miler at Leopardstown.

Alpha Des Obeaux has been knocking on the door all season but Martello Tower may be able to reverse that Leopardstown form as he was having his first run of the season that day.

Rebecca Curtis sends over At Fishers Cross who is a multiple Grade One winner in his day but hasn’t hit those heights for a season or two.

He’s the highest-rated in the race but needs to bounce back to his best and while Noble Emperor beat Seabass over 2m 4f at Punchestown, he’ll need to step up again here.

3.10pm Thyestes H’cap Chase 3m 1f

Djakadam defied top-weight for me last year before finishing second to Coneygree in the Cheltenham Gold Cup – but there’s nothing of that class running this year.

Boston Bob heads the weights this year so my mount Ballycasey gets in off 11-1, which is a fair enough. He should stay the trip and handle the ground, but if ever there’s a time to catch him it’s on his first run of the season,  as he goes best fresh.

He’s a good each-way chance but that’s probably all he has.

This is a competitive race and Gordon Elliott has plenty of entries in it, including Ucello Conti who took a big step forward when second in the 3m Paddy Power Chase over Christmas and  could improve again.

Mala Beach actually won the Galmoy Hurdle here in 2014 and ran a good race over an inadequate trip last time at Ascot again. This track and trip should suit him better and he looks a major player.

Mouse Morris’s Rule the World has been knocking on the door and will land a big handicap chase one of these days while Willie’s other runners Suntiep is coming back off a long lay-off and while Urano had a great run in the Kerry National, he can be a bit hit and miss at times.

The Job is Right unseated at the last when set for second behind Djakadam last season (My Murphy finished runner up) and tuned up for this with a run over hurdles at Punchestown last week.

If you pressed me for a short-list it would be Mala Beach, Ballycasey, Ucello Conti and The Job is Right. 

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3:45pm Beginners Chase 2m 2f

The two Gigginstown horses Tell Us More and Marinero look to have this race between them. Bryan Cooper has opted for Willie’s Tell Us More who ran well at Leopardstown on his first run over fences. Whether he’s better than Tony Martin’s Marinero though, I don’t know.

4.20pm 2m INH Flat Race

I thought Avenir D’Une Vie would win on his  bumper debut but had to settle for fourth behind Our Duke at Navan. That form doesn’t look too shabby now after the winner went on to beat Pylonthepressure at Leopardstown last Sunday in a maiden hurdle.

Avenir D’Une Vie then get off the mark when beating Delegate at Navan and looks good enough to follow up here.

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Un de Sceaux is on a little bit of a recovery mission at Ascot on Saturday. His work and schooling at home has been good in the last two weeks but he has to go and do it again now if he travels to Ascot on Saturday for the Clarence House Chase.

I’d never really thought about his record of either winning or falling (four wins, two falls in six chases) and it doesn’t really concern me.

The Gary Moore-trained Sire De Grugy looks a big danger while Vibrato Valtat would need to step up on his novice form to match Un De Sceaux.

Vroum Vroum Mag is entered on the same card and it will be the first time a lot of UK racing fans will get a look at her.

She’s unbeaten in here last seven runs and has never finished outside the first three.  The near-3m trip is a little step into the unknown but she’s always shaped like it wouldn’t be a problem.

She’s in really good form but she’ll have to win at Ascot first before you could decide on Cheltenham plans – but we’re hopeful she’ll come through it.

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