Ruby on some key Festival races – written account – from Paddy Power preview night

I’m afraid I didn’t catch this webcast till I saw a tweet from Paddy Power and linked in after it started.  But I got a few races by hastily recording the audio (you can listen to Ruby’s Audio Clips by clicking the link under Categories on the lower right of this page).

I’ve reproduced what Ruby said, pretty much word for word.  Listening closely, you realise how carefully he chooses his words despite speaking pretty fast.  He’s very sharp indeed.  There was a fair bit of banter with MC, panel and audience and Ruby was way quicker mentally then any of them.

I have not used quote marks unless someone other than Ruby was speaking – in this case, just the MC.

I’ve laid races out in the order they were discussed on the night. I missed the World Hurdle but, asked for his nap of the meeting, Ruby chose Big Buck’s.


For in running  punters, Allure of Illusion has unbelievable pace and gears and when they pass through the wings of the second last, he’ll be trading odds on – whether he gets up the hill or not I don’t know but you can back him at 10s before the race.

QM Champion Chase

Paul is very sweet on Master Minded (MM) – hard to pick one to beat him.  Golden Silver (GS) beat Big Zeb last time and I think if GS had jumped the last at Leopardstown he’d have beaten him that day too.  The issue with GS is he can put in a short one.  If you could rely on him to be brave and bold and stand at the wings, he’s an unbelievable price but he has a habit of going short and getting himself out of the race by doing that, putting in short, safe jumps.

If he was just a bit braver, he’d have a real shout but he can be cowardly and with the second last now being in the home straight on the old track at Cheltenham, jumping will be essential in the last half mile, and that would be your only worry with GS.

Can’t have Sizing Europe, Captain Cee Bee misses the odd fence,  Woolcombe Folly has handicap form and there’s no comparison between that and grade one form.  He’s skimpy at 7/1. It’s because of the time he ran – time means nothing; it’s what you beat that counts.

Somersby ran MM close last time but the more I look at this the more I think Master Minded will win.

Gold Cup

Imperial Commander (IC) worked well at Kempton and the vibes from the camp are good. Even Paddy Brennan, who’s a pessimist, is quite bullish  – you have to take that on board.

Long Run was brilliant in the King George but for my money he’s ground-dependent more so than track-dependent.  His Paddy Power was on good, Sun Alliance was on good, all his French form is on soft.  He can maintain a serious gallop on soft; he’s ground-dependent.

Denman’s had a wind op. Ran well in the Hennessy and must have some sort of a chance as has Kauto.  I’d love Kauto to win a third Gold Cup as I think he’s the greatest horse of all time.

Kempes bolted in in the Irish Hennessey, he’ll love good ground and should run a good race. Pandorama looks ground-dependent but Noel Meade thinks the sun shines out of his rear end, he really fancies him.  Midnight Chase would be too slow, Tidal Bay’s not good enough, Neptune Collonges is a bit old . . . I hope Kauto can win it – he’s not as fast as he used to be but he’s in good nick and looks value at 13/2, but for me Imperial Commander is the one to beat.

Grand Annual

Nightmare to ride in.  They go faster than the Champion Chase and they’re worse horses . . . I don’t know, maybe Pepe Simo if the ground was quick, but if you’re having a bet in this race you really have a problem.


The Irish are probably a weak bunch and Dermot’s filly (Unaccompanied) is by far the best.  Zarkandar was good at Kempton.  I wouldn’t be too worried  about his attitude; he was very coltish, a mean, sour horse when we got him, and since being gelded he’s a different horse.  He took a bit of time getting over his castration but he’s much more pleasant now. A Media Luz is a bit free.  I really like Sam Winner.  I was quite impressed with him early in the year.  He’s a wonderful jumper, a real stayer, a chaser in the making and at 10/1 I think he’s a great price EW. I wouldn’t put you off backing him.


Mikael.  I don’t know what race he runs in.  He schooled really well round Leopardstown with Quel Esprit, but to get Willie Mullins to make a decision two weeks before the event is not going to happen, but Mikael is working well, looks well.

I honestly think Time For Rupert is beatable.  He was second to Big Buck’s (BB) last year but there was no second.  BB absolutely pissed in, so something had to be second and it was him. Jessies Dream is a fair horse on his day.  Arguable whether he’s have beaten Mikael at Fairyhouse or not.

Aiteenthirtythree is improving but I think the bit of value in the race is Master of the  Hall.  He was very good in the Reynoldstown and at 14/1 EW I think he’s a real good bet. Boston’s Angel lacks a gear. If the real Mikael D’Haguenet turns up, well, . .you never know.


So Young’s been very impressive in his two starts. I schooled Rock on Ruby this morning and he went well though I can’t see how he can turn the form around with Bobs Worth though there’s a rumour Bobs Worth will go for the three-miler. Day of a Lifetime was very impressive in his maiden hurdle. It’s wide open.

You should always go by form and if you do that it’s going to be hard to beat Oscars Well.  He has the form in the book and it’s rock solid.  He beat all the top Irish Novices at Leopardstown last time, and he’s hard to look beyond at 4/1.


Quevega’s in great form and she’s been working very well.  I suppose the danger is Our Girl Salley but I can’t understand why a novice is taking on Quevega off levels when she could turn up in the Neptune or The Supreme getting her mare’s allowance.  Doesn’t make any sense to me.  She won’t be a novice next year but this is the race she’s going for.  Quevega will be hard to beat, she’s in great form, grade one winner, Willie will have her trained to the day.

“Would she be your nap of the meeting, Ruby?”

. . . there was a fair pause then  . . .

I wouldn’t think so.  She’s a great shout but I wouldn’t call her my nap.

Stewart Family Spinal Research H’cap Chase

A horse of  Tony Martin’s caught my eye the other day at Leopardstown, staying on in a 2m 2f hurdle race, a horse called Saddlers Storm.  He was favourite for last year’s Irish National when he unseated at the last.  If he gets in, I’d think he’ll have  a chance.

Champion Hurdle

Menorah should have been giving 4lbs to Silvianaco Conti at Cheltenham instead of getting 4lbs, so he was really 8lbs well in.  Oscar Whisky wants a bit further, Mille Chief wasn’t overly impressive last time. Khyber Kim needs to improve on his best to win.  It’s wide open.  I’d love to see Hurricane Fly win it.  But I don’t know.  If you have a hunch go with it.  It’s going to be the race of the meeting.

If Overturn doesn’t run, there’ll be no pace. I can’t see AP making the running on Binocular, Peddlers Cross was handy in the Fighting Fifth but they didn’t go that fast.  Menorah won’t make it, Hurricane Fly certainly won’t make it . . . Dunguib, they went no gallop in The Supreme and I can’t see him making it.  You need to wager into your bet that there’ll be no pace if Overturn doesn’t run and that means it will be all about speed in which case I’d favour Hurricane Fly, but I don’t have any strong feelings about the race other than it’ll be a great race to watch.

Albert Bartlett

Raptor would have a shout at around 20/1

And that was all I caught.  I hope you get  winner or two out of it and if you’re ever asked for your ideal dinner guests, I’d stick Ruby at the top of the list (probably wouldn’t eat much, either!).

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