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Ruby waits on his port of call for St Stephen's Day ride


Ruby Walsh

Ruby Walsh

Ruby Walsh

Ruby Walsh will leave it as late as possible before making a decision on his St Stephen's Day destination.

Two of Willie Mullins' stable stars, Champagne Fever and Faugheen, are due to be in action at Kempton while Vautour is on target to run at Leopardstown on the same afternoon.

As all three are owned by Rich and Susannah Ricci, Walsh does not need to make an early call on where he will go.

"It looks like Faugheen will be on the bus to Kempton for the Christmas Hurdle on December 26 to join Champagne Fever's King George VI Chase assault," said Walsh.

"But Vautour has also been pencilled in for the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown on the same day.

"A lot can happen between now and then, but it's a dilemma.

"Clearly, I can't be in two places at once so we're going to have to make a call closer the time.

Mrs Susannah Ricci owns them all so it's a decision that doesn't have to be made until the last minute.

"I don't think the drop back to two miles will bother Faugheen. He's improved fitness-wise for his win at Ascot but this will be another big step up in class for him.

"We'll learn a fair bit at Kempton about what we've got but I'd be hopeful he can deal with it.

"The course doesn't worry me - it's a flat track - but you still have to stay.

"The hurdle track is on the outside of the chase track so I don't think he'll find it too sharp.

"I got touched off in the race before when Binocular beat me on Rock on Ruby, but then Paul Nicholls' runner won the re-match in the Champion Hurdle. As for tactics - I'll worry about that on Christmas night.

"I'm presuming Irving will line up and he was a good winner of the Fighting Fifth."