Mozoltov set to give Ruby Walsh winning smile
Ruby Walsh falls in for his first ride on a Gigginstown Stud-owned runner since Davy Russell lost the coveted position as first jockey when he partners the exciting Willie Mullins-trained Mozoltov at Naas tomorrow.
A field of seven has been declared for the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Chase, but Mozoltov and JP McManus' Noel Meade-trained Ned Buntline should be the only two that matter.
Third on its Navan fencing bow behind the smart Ballycasey, Ned Buntline then improved to land a decent beginners' contest at the same track.
A bumper and maiden hurdle winner last term, the six-year-old remains open to further improvement. However, Mozoltov had him well back in third when he denied Don Cossack by a length at Punchestown last February and you couldn't but be impressed by his stylish switch to the bigger obstacles at Fairyhouse last month.
The Kayf Tara eight-year-old jumped cleanly and cruised home to take his record to five wins from eight outings, with his last defeat coming when third to Champagne Fever and Melodic Rendezvous in the Champion Bumper at Punchestown in 2012.
He should have the quality to add to that fine tally as the nap selection now. Chiltern Hills gets the nod to make a successful chasing bow for Mullins and Walsh in the mares' beginners' chase, while the all-conquering firm should also take the featured Slaney Novice Hurdle.
Mullins has declared today's intended Sandown runner Upazo in that Grade Two along with Briar Hill, as Meade's Very Wood and Dessie Hughes' Apache Jack complete the paltry line-up for the €37,500 (£31,058) contest.
Gigginstown's Very Wood is doubtless a horse with a long-term future, but it's impossible to see beyond the still unbeaten Champion Bumper hero Briar Hill.
The reigning champion jockey Russell, who goes into the weekend 39 winners adrift of Walsh in the riders' championship, has just one booked ride at the Co Kildare venue, but it is fancied to be good enough to score.
Arthur Moore will give the Youghal native the leg-up on Treat Yourself in the Joe Byrne Memorial Handicap Chase.