No one has more respect than I for the horsemanship of Ruby Walsh and it is certainly not for me to tell him anything about the way a horse should be ridden.
But I have to admit to feeling a little disappointed by his comments in the Racing Post this morning regarding the timing of his return to race riding after breaking his leg last November.
Jason Maguire picked up a ban last week which means he will miss the ride on Peddlers Cross in the Champion Hurdle (unless he can manage to get it overturned at appeal on Thursday). Ruby Walsh has now stated that he won’t ride at Taunton on Thursday just in case he manages to pick up a ban that would rule him out for the last couple of days of the Cheltenham Festival.
Is it only me or does that seem like seriously flawed reasoning? Surely the thing to do would be to ride on Thursday but ensure you ride within the rules? Seems simple to me. Far better to get in an extra days riding/fitness than not ride because you are afraid of a suspension. I realise that the rules on use of the whip aren’t applied entirely consistently and obviously that must be a concern, but to turn down rides (when a return to full race fitness is so vital) seems like foolishness to me. I’m not a big fan of over use of the whip and if a horse cannot be galvanised into an effort without cracking it so hard that you mark it then possibly that horse should not be racing. That’s only my opinion and I know many of you will disagree with it but I honestly think that to turn down rides at such an important juncture simply because you might get a ban for flaying your horse is very sad. I wonder whether the real reason for this is the quality of the Nicholls entries at Taunton on Thursday? We shall see. I would welcome readers thoughts and opinions on this!
On to Peddlers Cross. It’s a big blow that Jason Maguire won’t be up top for the Champion Hurdle but I think there is a good chance that Ruby will abandon Hurricane Fly for the ride on Peddlers and that is no bad thing! Obvioulsy I would prefer Maguire to be on board to land my biggest ante post wager of the festival but if that is not to be then the chance of having Ruby up is not an unattractive proposition. Again, we shall see and the best of all possible worlds would see Maguire get his suspension overturned or amended on Thursday. Fingers crossed.
Our trixie met a frustrating fate on Friday- 2 winners and a short head 2nd from the three which, though returning a profit (and that’s the name of the game) could have been so much better! Moving on to Lingfield today and I think I may have found one with a very decent chance. In the 2.10pm Marco Botti saddles Crossword and the fairly strong word from the stable is that this one has come on from his reappearance and the cheekpieces have sharpened him up markedly at home. Unfortunately the very attractive early prices have been snaffled but there is now some support for Jack’s Revenge and I think we might be able to do a little better come the off than the 11/4 currently available. I’ve had a bit of the 11/4 just in case and I will have some more at Betfair SP. If you fancy putting it in an each way double you could do worse than pair it with York Glory in the 4.55pm. With 4 winners and a short head 2nd from the last 5 horses I’ve suggested I’m very aware that we are due a reversal so please keep stakes sensible!
Finally, another quick mention of the freebie laying system available over at www.percentageprofits.com . It’s a top quality system that he could easily be charging for and I’m not sure how much longer he will be gving it away. I know he is launching his premium product at noon on Thursday and he is likely to take down the free system at that time. If you haven’t already, get over there and grab it while you can.
That’s all for today. Have a great week and find lots of winners.