Rain will suit Bellshill, but Photo clearly the one to beat

I don’t understand the betting for today’s feature race, the Punchestown Gold Cup. 

There is no doubt in my mind that Al Boum Photo, who is rated a pound ahead of Kemboy, should be favourite. 

What he achieved at Cheltenham was remarkable. He ran to a mark of 175 at Tramore and backed that up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and is the one we all have to beat today.

The rain that has fallen will suit Bellshill. I think he suffered a bit for Leopardstown when not jumping as he can in the Gold Cup, and he seems to be much better now. And I ride Kemboy, who was brilliant at Leopardstown and at Aintree. 

This is a hotter race than at Aintree but he’s in great order and I’m willing to give him another go, but I still think Al Boum Photo is going to take all the beating.

Outside of our runners, I really don’t think Definitly Red should be as big as 40-1. He is an each-way price. 

Monalee steps back up in trip after finding the trip too sharp in the Ryanair Chase and should go well.

I start off on Voix Du Tiep in the Red Mills Series Final. It’s a race that a lot of people came up with to enhance the chances of the less-expensive horses from the sales, and we have Voix Du Tiep who qualifies for the race.

But it’s a very high standard – Martin Brassil’s Ballymore Novice Hurdle winner, City Island, won one of these races, in Naas. Looking at today’s race, there are a number of winners in it, making it very competitive.

I think Voix Des Tiep has improved since he won at Gowran Park, but The Big Dog has beaten him twice before and it might be hard for him to overturn the form. 

I think Zero Ten will be all the better for his run at Fairyhouse and is the one we all have to beat.

We run three in the Louis Fitzgerald Hurdle and two of them – Crack Mome and Crack Tiepy – are coming back from injury.

Both have a lot of work done but Crack Tiepy hasn’t raced for 890 days and Crack Mome for 778 days, so it’s probably a very big ask for them. Hopefully they can put up a bold showing, but they’ll improve for the outing.

Our number one is probably Elimay, who chased home Good Thyne Tara at Leopardstown at Christmas. 

She ran okay in the Mares’ Hurdle in Cheltenham, but this is a drop in grade for her and I think she’ll be hard to beat, even if she is wrong at the weights with Paloma Blue, who returns from chasing, and Vision D’honneur, who ultimately hasn’t yet lived up to expectations.

In the Grade 1 novice hurdle over three miles I ride Allaho, but Willie also runs Carefully Selected, Castlebawn West and Salsaretta. 

Picture: Healy Racing
Picture: Healy Racing

I probably wasn’t brilliant on Allaho at Cheltenham. I think the new course at Cheltenham is a very hard track to make the running on and I was probably too conservative on Allaho.

Minella Indo kicked on down the hill and was gone on us. He ran out a good winner, but I think my horse will get closer to him today. 

You also have the second horse from that race, Commander Of Fleet, to complete the one-two-three from Cheltenham and add in Carefully Selected to make a high-class race.

Allaho is a very good horse and on this flatter track, which is more suitable for horses which like to race with the pace than Cheltenham is, I think he’ll give a good account of himself.

I don’t know if the Champion Bumper is an outstanding renewal, but Abacadabras sets a fair enough standard. 

Willie runs Golden Spread, Mt Leinster and Colreevy. I think Mt Leinster will have improved most for his run at Fairyhouse a couple of weeks ago. 

He looks stronger and I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns that form with Golden Spread. 

But Dermot McLouglin’s mare, Santa Rossa, who was third at Aintree, could be the value in the race.

Picture: Healy Racing
Picture: Healy Racing

I ride Livelovelaugh in the last jumps race of the day. 

He ran well for a long way in the English National before fading out of contention and had been to Cheltenham and run in the Kim Muir as well. 

His run behind Whisperinthebreeze, when second in the Leopardstown Chase, would give him a chance.

We also run Class Conti, who was a very good winner in Tramore 17 days ago. 

Dropping back in trip may not suit him but a mark of 147 is eye-catching.

In the bumper, Patrick Mullins is jumping ship to ride for Henry De Bromhead on the mare, Minella Melody, who finished second in Aintree. 

He really fancies her. Daylight Katie will run a good race as well, but they’re all going to have to go to beat Gypsy Island. 

I thought she was incredibly impressive in Fairyhouse and is my nap of the day.

Ruby's best bets


Gypsy Island - 7.45 Punchestown


Voix Du Tiep - 4.20 Punchestown

Class Conti - 7.10 Punchestown

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