| 9.5°C Dublin

Podcast: Team Mullins ready to strike


Rock On Ruby (left) has a good Champion Hurdle each-way chance

Rock On Ruby (left) has a good Champion Hurdle each-way chance

Rock On Ruby (left) has a good Champion Hurdle each-way chance

HURRICANE FLY is just like a sports car, he has all the gears -- more than most horses. Ruby Walsh knows him better than anyone and was very good on him last year.

He knows the horse inside out and Hurricane Fly will be very hard to beat in today's Champion Hurdle.

I have the dubious honour of being one of just two people who have been beaten on him; Paul Townend is the other. I rode him when he was a four-year-old and I was second on him in France in 2008 when he was still a colt.

Since then, I've ridden him a good bit at home and you can't see past him, he's the one they all have to beat.

A horse that I think will go close to finishing second is Rock On Ruby -- he could be the best of Paul Nicholls' runners. He was a very close second to Binocular in the Christmas Hurdle and I'm just not a fan of Binocular.

Rock On Ruby could be a good each-way bet, with Hurricane Fly to win.

I am riding in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle today and it is great to get a run in the first race. It is one that is close to my heart too, given I won it in 2007 on Ebaziyan early in my Cheltenham career. I will be on Willie Mullins' Allure Of Illusion, an inexperienced horse but one which will like the good ground so I have an outside chance.

It is good to get going from the off, especially as I hadn't been expecting to ride today. It is good to get a ride for Willie too because I expect him to be leading trainer again this year.

Yesterday, I rode out Dylan Ross, which I will now be running against. He seems in good form, and he'll love the ground being good. He has plenty of Grade One form and while it is a very good quality race, you would give him an each-way chance.

It is a tough race to call. Jessica Harrington's Steps to Freedom won over here last time and he will enjoy the track. A classy horse which likes good ground, he could be the best of the Irish.

A stab in the dark to win it would be Cinders and Ashes. I know Jason Maguire is very sweet on him.

Sprinter Sacre will be hard to beat in the Arkle Challenge, but Nicholls' Al Ferof will give him a run for his money.

A solid horse that jumps well, I know he will come up the hill strongly and won't go down without a fight. Sprinter Sacre hasn't had a race yet this year. He won his three races very easily and you'd just have to question whether the races were much good.

I like Donald McCain's Our Mick in the 2.40. I saw him winning at Kempton earlier this year and he seems to be a strong front-running galloper, stays running all day and he jumps good and sound.

Willie could win the Handicap Chase with Scotsirish, a very classy horse which loves the fast ground so that will be in his favour. He seems to be doing it very easily this year and if Paddy Mullins can take the right course, he should win.

Willie also seems to have Quevega tuned up for the mares' hurdle, just like he did last year. I have seen a good bit of her at home and she looks on top of her game and will be very hard to beat.

In the last, Hunt Ball seems to be very good, while Falcon Island could be an each-way chance.

Condon's Call

1.30: Cinders and Ashes

2.05: Sprinter Sacre

3.20: Hurricane Fly; e/w chance: Rock on Ruby

4.0: Scotsirish

4.40: Quevega; e/w chance: Shop DJ

5.15: Hunt Ball; e/w chance: Falcon Island