GRAND NATIONAL GAMBLE ON RUBY CHOOSE DAY: Ruby Walsh has chosen his Grand National ride and the result is a gamble down to near favouritism. Meanwhile, Shamrock is looking for back-to-back naps after Prince Ludovic (WON 2-1) on Thursday.
Ruby’s out On His Own. Ruby Walsh’s decision to ride On His Own in next Saturday’s Liverpool Grand National saw the odds tumble to 10-1 in a place this morning, with 14.5 offers on BETDAQ.
The 10-1 is only a point in front of the favourite, Synchronised, in some books and, with late money expected for Chicago Grey, Ireland will almost certainly have two of the front three in the betting on the day.
Ireland last won the National with Silver Birch in 2007, completing a three-timer in the race for us, and Ruby was on the first of that trio, Hedgehunter, for On His Own’s trainer, Willie Mullins, in 2005. Ruby is in England today for Pasco at Haydock.
Meanwhile, Cork has a cracking Listed contest on the Flat (2.50), with four last-time-out winners and 11 who have a win recorded in their six form-figures.
A high draw and a stable in form should both help, so Croisultan in 14 for Dermot Weld must take a deal of beating.
But younger horses won five in a row before Inxile successfully raided last year, and the transformed Balmont Mast, with the best draw of all and a run under his belt, looks a serious bet at 9.6 on BETDAQ.
I’m also taking a tip from Joseph O’Brien: he rode Ballydoyle’s odds-on Up earlier in the week but couldn’t get past Marvada, yet that one is 11.0 this morning. Her rider? Joseph O’Brien.
Joseph has rides for Aidan on Infanta Branca (3.25) and Robin Hood (4.00) and two more later on but best-guessing which ones among the Ballydoyle starters has been tricky so far, and some punters are making money opposing the lot.
Slade Power (2.20) is highly regarded and should get me off to a nap-winning start before I split my kitty on the big-race pair.
NAP Slade Power (2.20 Cork)
BIG-RACE DUTCH: Marvada and Balmont Mast (2.50 Cork)
ANTE-POST: On His Own (Liverpool Grand National at 14.5)
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