Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ruby Walsh confident in the Racing Post Chase

Ruby Walsh is confident three miles will bring out the best in Gungadu as Paul Nicholls' runner bids to defy the welter burden of 11st 12lb in the Racing Post Chase at Kempton on Saturday.
The eight-year-old is fresh from beating fellow Racing Post rival Burntoakboy at Sandown three weeks ago, having failed to stay three miles and five furlongs in the Coral Welsh National when sixth to Miko De Beauchene.
"He's got top weight but he has it for a reason. Top weights have done well in the past," said Walsh.
"Simon won under 11st 5lb last year and it's race top weights can go close in.
"He's a decent horse, he'll love the track and the trip. The Welsh National form is holding up so we'd be hoping for a big run.
"He travelled unbelievably well in the Welsh National, going into the straight he was going better than Miko De Beauchene and Halcon Genelardais and just stamina saw him out.
"I guess three miles is his trip," Walsh told Racing UK.
Nicholls, seeking his first win in the Racing Post Chase, believes Burntoakboy could provide the stiffest opposition.
"We'll be hoping Gungadu can continue our run of big wins on Saturdays, but he has top weight and went up 9lb for winning the other day," he said.
"Burntoakboy is 5lb better off for a length and a half which makes life quite hard for Gungadu.
"Strictly on the book I think Burntoakboy might be hard to beat and I thought Ungaro and Wee Robbie had good chances in a competitive race," the champion trainer told Teletext.
Nicholls is convinced his other runner Le Volfoni is badly handicapped.
"He tries three miles for the first time and if he is going to get the trip it will be at a track like Kempton," he continued.
"Nick Scholfield takes 7lb off, but he's the worst-handicapped horse I've got in training."
Ungaro is reported to be in good form as he bids to register his first success since the Grade One Feltham Novices' Chase over this course and distance in December 2006.
The nine-year-old, owned by Sir Robert Ogden, ran arguably his best race since when second to An Accordion in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster last month
"He's very well and in good form. Hopefully conditions should be in his favour and we are hoping for a good run," said his trainer Keith Reveley.
"He's run well at the track before, but we could have done without the weights going up. Anyway we'll have a go.
"He does marginally favour going right-handed and we also want a good, strong pace and decent ground."
John Spearing is hoping for rain to boost Simon's bid for back-to-back victories.
The going was soft when the gelding, owned and bred by former trainer Mercy Rimell, swept to a 10-length success over Cornish Sett.
However, conditions do not look like being as testing this time.
"It would be more to his advantage if it came up really wet, though he can go on this ground all right," said the Severn Stoke trainer.
"Last year it stopped the others and he was the only one who could keep going. If it was like that I would fancy him a lot.
"They were all exhausted from three out last year and it just left him there."
Spearing believes this year's renewal will be more difficult to win than 12 months ago.
"I think it's probably a bit tougher than last year and he's 8lb higher in the ratings.
"He won it off 143 and he's on 151 now, but he's in good form," he added.
Nick Gifford is expecting a big run from Wee Robbie, who was third to the Nicholls-trained Silverburn at Sandown three weeks ago
"He's in very good form and he's on a lovely racing weight. He deserves a crack at a big one so we are taking our chance," said the Findon trainer.
The Big G

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