Ruby Walsh on the Champion Hurdle: ‘He’s the only horse that could possibly beat her’ 🐎

Ruby Walsh

Ruby Walsh thinks there is only one horse that could possibly lower the colours of Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle. That horse is the Willie Mullins-trained Appreciate It. Walsh was appearing on on Paddy Power’s ‘From The Horse’s Mouth’ podcast ‘Cheltenham Countdown’ with host Patrick Kennelly, Rory Delargy and Frank Hickey.

Ruby Walsh Quotes

Honeysuckle got an amazing reception after landing another Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown last weekend, a race that Appreciate It avoided but Walsh said: “Appreciate It is in good order – I just don’t think Willie really thought throwing him in against Honeysuckle who had a run under her belt and him with no run for his first start was possibly the way forward and basically that’s it.

“He’s going to have to take her on at some stage, I know that, but I think Willie was more than happy to have one go at her in Cheltenham rather than try to have two goes at her, one at Leopardstown and probably get beat and then have to get over that to go and take her on in the Champion Hurdle. So he’s heading straight there and I think realistically, he is possibly her only rival.

Appreciate It Patrick Mullins Leopardstown

Appreciate It

Is he a bet to nothing?

“Now I wouldn’t even go in the without market, I think at 5-1 it’s a fifth of the odds, you get your money back if he’s second and take the 5/1, I think he’s the only horse that can beat her so I think backing him each-way is possibly a bet to nothing. I’d be shocked if he was out of the first three and I think he’s the only horse that could possibly beat her.

“There’s the Red Mills which he could go to, Willie did run Cilaos Emery in that before he lined up and finished fourth I think in the Champion Hurdle. I can’t think of a horse that’s ever won it first time up, I know the horse that was second My Tent Or Yours was second to Annie Power on his first run of the season, but he was second, he didn’t beat her.

“But I just think Appreciate It, to me she’s better than Sharjah, we know he is, every level of form tells us that, same with Zanahiyr, Epatante she’s the best and the only fresh blood I suppose or fresh opposition is Appreciate It and I’d be surprised if he was out of the first three and I think he’s the only one that could possibly beat her so at 5-1 I think he’s probably the each-way bet.”

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