Monday 24 October 2016

It's operation domination time

Mullins and Walsh are set to be three Grade One's richer over this weekend

Vroum Vroum Mag with Ruby Walsh on board Photo:Sportsfile
Vroum Vroum Mag with Ruby Walsh on board Photo:Sportsfile

Ruby Walsh doesn't know how many winners he has and quite clearly couldn't really care less whether Au Quart De Tour was his 2,500th or whether we all missed the boat and he had actually surpassed that total a few of weeks ago.

It's a milestone. One that he'll undoubtedly reflect on some day when his kids are asking him about his career but not really spend long on because there's much more interesting things to reflect on like Willie Mullins, Paul Nicholls, Hurricane Fly, Kauto Star and Grade One's in general.


What does look fairly accurate is that of his 2,500 plus winners that a record breaking 172 of them have been in Grade One races.

His 150th was on Hurricane Fly in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown 12-months ago and it looks fairly likely that his 175th will be on Faugheen in the same race tomorrow.

First up in Grade One company this weekend is Un De Sceaux this afternoon in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot and Walsh is clearly excited by the current Champion Chase favourite.

"We just felt he was a bit buzzy on the day, it was hard to get him in a rhythm.

"He was standing too far back at some and getting in too deep at others, I was just never in a good rhythm with him," he added.

"I couldn't have been happier with him before he fell, I was travelling really well, I saw a stride and asked him, but he changed his mind."

Walsh added: ""He's schooled really well since, his work is good, we're happy with him and Sire De Grugy is a new challenge for us. He sets a standard and we have to get up there.

"We're happy and we're looking forward to it.

"He likes what he does, he's brave, he likes to get on with it and attack fences, I enjoy riding him but the margin for error is quite small.

"I think he's a thrilling horse to ride."

Walsh will also ride the exciting Vroum Vroum Mag in the Grade Two Mares Hurdle today but attention then turns to Leopardstown tomorrow where Douvan faces just two in the Arkle and Faugheen will take on four in the Irish Champion Hurdle with his biggest challenge coming from stable companions Nichols Canyon and Arctic Fire.


Nothing is impossible in racing and Walsh and Killultagh Vic proved that at Leopardstown last weekend but you'd have to feel that only jumping errors will see the three Grade One favourites overturned.

Douvan has taken the odd liberty in his two runs over fences but has been clever enough not to come to grief and we all know about Un De Sceaux but that pair look to be in a league of their own and while Faugheen did suffer his only defeat to Nichols Canyon, the reigning champion hurdler will be a different proposition at this time of the year.

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