Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Ruby Walsh's 'horse to watch' Brutal, aims to strengthen Triumph Hurdle claims at Perth

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Ruby Walsh believes Brutal is a horse 'with a future', as Gordon Elliott's top prospect hopes to get back to winning ways at Perth this afternoon after an odds-on flop at Killarney.

Walsh, who rode Gordon Elliot's three-year-old, believed the horse had no concerns about injuries, despite finishing a worrying 36 lengths behind winner Grey Waters.

He travelled strongly throughout the race, but the veteran jockey pushed him on earlier than his main two Joseph O'Brien market rivals who went on to make the placings in the novice event. When Walsh asked questions he found little, and was eased up in the final two furlongs.

He makes his first start since his sixth place finish in Perth's Heineken UK Juvenile Hurdle (3:25) this afternoon, with champion jockey Richard Johnson taking over. Yet former rider Walsh, labelled him as a horse to watch this season.

"He's absolutely fine, we've taken a look at him and there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with him," said Walsh following Brutal's run in Killarney.

"I don't know why he ran so poorly, he seems totally fine in himself. I think it was a case that today wasn't his day."

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Walsh is a Cheltenham legend, having been named top jockey at the Festival for the last five years

"I know Gordon likes him a lot, and I wouldn't think too much of this run. He's definitely better than what we saw today, and he could be a horse with a future."

Owned by the Qataris, he was named favourite for the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival after justifying odds on favouritism to win tidily at Cork.

But following his disappointing run in Kerry, Brutal shares favoritism with the likes of Grand Sancy, Espoir D'Allen and Frankel's history-making son Commentariolus, all priced at 25-1, for the Cheltenham's Grade One event.

Gordon Elliot's star comes into jumping after boasting a flat rating of 105 in the UK, and finished fifth in the Group One Racing Post Trophy when trained by Ger Lyons.

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