Ruby Walsh has stated that he would be “dumbfounded” if the Gordon Elliott-trained Samcro was beaten in Wednesday’s Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, while Henry de Bromhead confirmed that Monalee was in “very good form” ahead of the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase.
Walsh, who completed a double on the first day of Cheltenham 2018, previously stated he believed Samcro was similar to Faugheen and Douvan in that “they just look a cut above the others. Two miles, two and a half miles, trip doesn’t matter – he’s just better.” Lots of people will be going to betting.org to find out the best price.
The multiple-times Irish champion jockey believes the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle is the perfect race for Giggingstown House Stud’s rising star, and arguably National Hunt racing’s most talked about horse:
“When you take everything into consideration, like the pedigree, ground and the opposition – the Ballymore Novices Hurdle looks tailormade for him.”
Top Irish trainer Henry de Bromhead considers three miles the ideal distance for Monalee, who runs in the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham:
“We think he is a three-mile horse. I know a lot of people think we should have gone for the JLT Novices’ Chase over two and a half miles but it looked like he needed the last furlong over two miles five at Leopardstown. We’ll find out how right we are!”
De Bromhead, discussing his 2017 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Special Tiara, commented:
“He’s brilliant. In fairness it is probably isn’t his ground so it will be very hard for him to defend his title. I thought his run at Leopardstown was fantastic and if the ground had come up good here I thought he would be in front of Min [who beat him at Leopardstown] but now that it hasn’t, we’re going to struggle, I would imagine.”
Top amateur rider Derek O’Connor believes he has a chance of adding a Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup winner to his list of achievements as he rides the Joseph O’Brien-trained Edwulf in the feature race of the meeting on Friday.
“I think Edwulf has a realistic chance of winning it. He’ll handle the conditions, he’ll jump very well. He’s coming over on Thursday afternoon so settling in won’t be a problem. I think he will run a big race.”