Ruby Walsh: Aramax can defy trends and land Galway Hurdle

The only part I really enjoyed about the Galway Hurdle was when it was over
Ruby Walsh: Aramax can defy trends and land Galway Hurdle
Jockey Mark Walsh is congratulated by JP McManus, third from right, and his wife Noreen, second from right, after winning the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle on Aramax at Cheltenham earlier this year. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

I think the only part I really enjoyed about the Guinness Galway Hurdle was when it was over, and that’s even since it has been reduced to 20 runners.

When it was 27 runners it was even worse, but I was lucky in it once, on Clondaw Warrior.

This year’s race is a very competitive renewal and I think the only pace in the race is from the Gigginstown horses, Felix Desjy and Petit Mouchoir, and maybe Due Reward.

Felix Desjy is going to take a lot of following and a lot of pegging back but there are some decent horses in here.

Tudor City got a wonderful ride to win last year. Sean O’Keeffe rides him this time and he’ll be riding for plenty of luck.

Wonder Laish, which Robbie Power rides, is well fancied, and I think Buildmeupbuttercup will run a big race and probably be on the bridle at the last but whether she gets from there up is a different ball game.

Mt Leinster is the same, he’ll have to settle better than he did here on Monday night.

Patrick rides Aramon under top weight, but I’m not sure is he big enough to shoulder top weight in a race as competitive as this but he’s in really good form.

Moon Over Germany could run okay, but the one I really like is Gordon Elliott’s Aramax.

I know a four-year-old hasn’t won it since 2000 but I thought this fella won the Fred Winter snug enough in the end and he’s a tough horse who stays well.

I’d say he could be a graded horse in disguise, so I think he, at 14-1, is going to take all the beating.

Willie Mullins also runs Shanning and Tiger Tap Tap but they need to improve a good bit on what they’ve done lately to win.

In the first novice hurdle, Willie doesn’t have a runner because we don’t have a four-year-old winner ready to run at the minute.

I thought Guinevere ran better than its finishing position in the Ladies’ Derby last week at the Curragh and should go well.

In the beginners’ chase, Willie runs Karl Der Grosse. If he could come back to his run here behind Dorrells Pierji he’d have a squeak, but his last two runs were shocking, and I thought Doctor Duffy could be hard enough to beat.

In the Rockshore Novices’ Chase, Galvin I don’t think can run, but I like Dime A Dozen. I thought it did well to win over two miles and a furlong around Tipperary and two-two on a much stiffer track will suit Shark Hanlon’s horse a whole lot better.

In the two-mile-one handicap hurdle, I don’t have a strong opinion.

The 7:15pm is the Guinness Novice Hurdle and Willie runs Jon Snow. I think he has been disappointing so far in his career, but he meets The Very Man on level terms and he is in great form.

Maybe the two and a half miles will really suit him.

In the three-mile handicap hurdle, we don’t have a runner, but we have two in the bumper: Power Of Pause and Definite Katie.

I’d say there is no doubt that, at this minute in time, Power Of Pause is the number one string but he’ll have to go back to his first run to have a chance.

His second run isn’t good enough, whereas Definite Katie wants further and is one to keep an eye on when she steps up to two and a half.

The Galway Plate was a cracking race and Mark Walsh gave Early Doors a brilliant ride to win because he’s an A to B jumper, he’s not extravagant.

He got him in a really good rhythm and got a great split between Cabaret Queen and Livelovelaugh.

Royal Rendezvous didn’t get a great run off the bend and eventually got going late on for Paul Townend.

But Mark Walsh gave his horse a cracking ride. He had a good position all the way round and that was the difference in the end.

It was a brilliant bit of riding on a horse who is not straightforward and Mark Walsh should be very proud.

As should Joseph O’Brien, it’s just phenomenal to have such success at his age.

He could be a graded horse in disguise, so I think he, at 14-1, is going to take all the beating.

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