Racing UK ambassador Ruby Walsh reflects on a disappointing weekend and provides an update on some exciting entries the yard have for the weekend.
Describing the weekend as “disappointing” is an understatement, but that’s horse racing and it doesn’t go your way all the time.
Nothing went right for Footpad in the Poplar Square Chase at Naas, when we exited at the last and returned with an over-reach.
I think he slipped at the fence in front of the stands, the third, and that knocked the wind out my sails. He did the same again at the fifth last.
You can’t afford to be doing things like up against a horse like Saint Calvados;, he’s a very good horse. He was very good on the day and deserves all of the credit he is getting.
To me, Footpad lost his two hind legs out behind him at that third fence and his front end went forward into the middle fence – and that’s where he sustained his over-reach.
He was never going from then on. These things happen and it’s onwards and upwards.
I think he was unlucky. It was new ground and I just think he lost his two hind legs out behind him.
Momentum won at the last when he got too high in behind and knuckled over on his head and I’ve gone straight over his ears.
I didn’t see him this Tuesday morning. Willie says he is sore and it’s a cut, but it won’t set him back to much and we have to look forward to wherever he runs next.
Saldier one to follow:
I thought Saldier was was going to win the Fishery Lane Hurdle when he fell at the final flight on Saturday.
I believed I had a great chance anyway and thought I was going the better when Espoir D’Allen came to challenge. We were going pretty quick and he was just a bit indecisive and paid the price.
He was then unlucky as a horse came from behind and gave him a kick in the head. He took a fair old slap.
He’s a bit sore but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed and he looks a horse with a lot of potential.
He has bags of speed but he’s a big scopey individual, too, and he’s definitely a horse with a lot of improvement in him.
He’s improved a lot physically and he could improve again. What happened to him Saturday, he will get over, and he will develop and mature. I think he’s a horse we will hear a lot of.
No point dwelling on past:
When you have setbacks like Saturday, you have to pick yourself up and go again. It’s happened before and it will happen again.
Racing is like that. You can get a run of seconds, then you get a glut of winners – that’s just the way things go.
It might take me five minutes to get over it but you can’t change the past, you can only affect the future. There’s no point looking back.
The week ahead:
I won’t be at Cheltenham this weekend I will be staying local in Punchestown.
I’m at Fairyhouse tomorrow. My Sister Sarah gets 11lb off Stay Humble so that’s why I chose her. Hopefully, it’s a dry forecast.
We have Punchestown at the weekend and we’ve plenty of entries in the Frontline Security Grabel Mares’ Listed Hurdle there. Limini and Stormy Island are just two of the exciting ones among them
Then we have the Grade One Unibet Morgiana Hurdle on Sunday.
Samcro is going to run, we’ve got Melon, Faugheen and Wicklow Brave in there and I’m sure Willie will finalise plans during the week.
I’ve no clue what I’ll ride or what will go. They all seem in good form and they’ll work again Thursday and see how they are again Friday morning.
They’re improving by the week so hopefully this weekend will be a little bit better than the last.
Melon is a very good horse and I think he improved throughout last season. He fell at the same hurdle as Samcro at Punchestown but he looks really well. He’s a fine big horse and we’re looking forward to him.
Faugheen is in good order as well, Willie said he was doing the entries for the Morgiana Hurdle and he was leaving him in so I didn’t ask any more questions as to future plans.
Eldorado Allen looks exciting:
Watch how Eldorado Allen won at Aintree
I really liked the maiden hurdler of Colin Tizzard’s that won at Sandown Park on Sunday, Eldorado Allen, under Tom O’Brien.
I thought he looked very impressive. He travelled strongly and he jumped really well but I like the way he ran right through the line. It’s a long way home at Sandown and he galloped all the way to the line and looks a good horse.