Sempre Medici looks primed for glory at Gowran

Ruby Walsh remains at home while Barry Geraghty rides Blazer in Betfair Hurdle

Ruby Walsh: will have four rides at Gowran including the fancied Sempre Medici.

Ruby Walsh: will have four rides at Gowran including the fancied Sempre Medici.

 

Not even the pick of four Willie Mullins-trained hopefuls in Britain’s richest handicap hurdle can divert Ruby Walsh from home this Saturday where Sempre Medici looks a standout among the champion jockey’s four Gowran rides.

A fifth Mullins runner in the Betfair Hurdle, Blazer, has been backed down to favouritism for a race worth almost €200,000 might and is Barry Geraghty’s mount. Walsh staying on domestic duty also leaves Paul Townend to ride both Open Eagle and Petite Parisienne for Mullins at Warwick.

Sempre Medici looks to have very solid claims for the four-runner Red Mills Trial Hurdle while Walsh will also carry Rich Ricci’s colours on board the frustrating Ballycasey in the Trial Chase.

Both Ballycasey and Morning Assembly come out of ahead of Smashing on official figures but Davy Russell has opted for Henry De Bromhead’s runner despite partnering Morning Assembly in a good comeback run at Fairyhouse.

It is two weeks since that race and the ‘bounce factor’ could be an issue for Morning Assembly although his trainer Pat Fahy is anticipating a big run.

“Davy minded him at Fairyhouse. He came out of the race very well and I think the run will bring him on. He needed to have a kind race and I think we’ll get our rewards for that. He’ll be close to 100 per cent so I’d like to see him racing accordingly. I’m expecting a big show,” Fahy reported.

Gordon Elliott has six weekend chances to hit 100 National Hunt winners in Ireland this season. He is currently three short of a first century over jumps here although both Authorized Cadeaux and Urtheoneiwant only look to hold outside claims at Gowran.

Ruby Walsh looks a significant booking in the latter’s race, a two and a half mile handicap hurdle, where he teams up with Pat Fahy’s Tongie. This one was no match for Min on his last start but prior to that was third in a decent handicap at Leopardstown and remains on the same mark.

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