Wednesday 21 February 2018

Boston well equipped to justify Ruby's choice

Boston Bob, with Ruby Walsh up
Boston Bob, with Ruby Walsh up
Davy Condon

Davy Condon

On His Own ran his heart out to be narrowly denied in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham, but he might just have missed his chance at a major Grade One.

Ruby Walsh has gone for Boston Bob instead of him in the Bibby Financial Services Gold Cup at Punchestown today, and I'm not too surprised.

On His Own is honest, but he is very slow for this standard of event and he also had a really hard race in defeat at Cheltenham.

First Lieutenant has also had a long season and Long Run took a heavy fall in the Grand National, so this really could be there for Boston Bob to win.

He has had a light schedule this term, and you'd have to like the way that he went about it when he won at Aintree.

Not too many of his rivals have scope to improve, but he has, so I think he is the one they all have to beat.

Argocat might be the danger. He caught the eye when coming from behind to be third to Silviniaco Conti at Aintree, with Dynaste just in front and First Lieutenant and Saturday's easy Sandown winner Menorah just behind. He needs to step up again but he could do so.

I think Ruby will also go very close on Don Poli in the three-mile Grade One novice hurdle.

Very Wood won for Noel Meade and Paul Carberry at Cheltenham, but he didn't have the smoothest run up to it and ended up having a tough race.

Beat That will obviously be a live threat under Barry Geraghty, but you'd have to like the way that Don Poli has been progressing for Willie Mullins. He won going away at Cheltenham, and he has won in deep ground over three miles before, so he certainly won't want for stamina.

In the Champion Bumper, I couldn't go against Dermot Weld's Silver Concorde.

I stayed with Robbie McNamara at Cheltenham and he wasn't joking when he said that this fellow could be a Group horse on the Flat. He made them all look slow there and I'd expect a repeat of that now.

Earlier on, Sea Light appeals as nap material in the conditional jockeys' race. Charles Byrnes' horse has shot up the rankings this season, but he ran really well in defeat at Leopardstown in January.

Ger Fox, who has been in excellent form, takes a valuable four pounds off Sea Light's back here, and good ground is what he wants. He should win.

Davy's Double

Sea Light and Silver Concorde

Condon's Call

3.40 Sea Light (nap); 4.20 Le Vent D'Antan; 4.55 Don Poli; 5.30 Boston Bob; 6.05 Silver Concorde; 6.40 Pass The Hat; 7.15 Totally Dominant

Irish Independent

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