JUMP TO IT WITH RUBY: Shamrock prefers the chase and a hurdle on the mixed card at Listowel today. In one he’s following a back-to-form Ruby Walsh; in the other, a mare on his list for the jumps season ahead.
Bank on Ruby. Or should that read Ruby on ‘Bank’. Now that yer man is back in the winners’ enclosure – Bundle Of Fun yesterday – Rupert Walsh can be followed with confidence.
Ruby’s on Laganbank (4.20 Listowel), with several good reasons for taking his side. Firstly, the gelding has more potential to improve at five years old than Alderwood at seven.
Second of all, as they say, he gets a valuable 6lb on the ground. Thirdly, Virgil Earp seems no longer to be a dangerous gun-slinger. He’s a high-plains drifter at 6.8 this morning. It’s a tricky one for a four-year-old anyway.
The day’s big-money prize is the Guinness Handicap (3.15). The lay here is Castle Bar Sling, who wins only on a sound surface and whose yard has had 57 losing runners on the course over 14 years.
As for the winner, punters were in no doubt this morning early doors as they piled into Mick Halford’s Hawkhill, a winner before now after a long absence and a mud-lover.
Midnight Music (2.45) also likes it heavy and the Dermot-Weld-Pat-Smullen bandwagon is rolling, rolling, rolling.
A horse we’ve been waiting for, with the jumps season in mind, is the mare For Bill, ever since she slammed Galway Plate winner, Blazing Tempo, five lengths.
For Bill has an absence to overcome but, though it seems to be a two-horse race, I can get 2-1 For Bill on Betdaq. That’s called value.
NAP: Laganbank (4.20 Listowel)
NEXT BEST: Hawkhill (3.15 Listowel)
LAY: Castle Bar Sling (3.15 Listowel)
OUTSIDER: none today
DAQ TREBLES: Midnight Music (2.45 Listowel), Hawkhill (3.15 Listowel), Wakhan (3.50 Listowel), Laganbank (4.20 Listowel), For Bill (5.25 Listowel)