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Walsh laments Djak inexperience

Ruby Walsh felt the lack of experience in an ultra-competitive contest such as the Hennessy Gold Cup contributed to Djakadam's downfall in the Newbury feature last Saturday.

The five-year-old was sent off 5-1 favourite for what was only his fourth run over fences. Though he briefly flattered, he eventually finished eighth behind Many Clouds.

Djakadam won a four-runner Grade Two novice chase at Leopardstown in January, but Walsh believes the Willie Mullins-trained gelding has not yet earned his place at the top table.

"I was a little bit disappointed initially and then when I thought about it, I wasn't that disappointed," Walsh told Racing UK.

"I'd just say he wasn't battle-hardened enough. It was his first run of the season, he hasn't got many miles on the clock.

"He travelled well, he jumped well. I thought going to the cross fence I had a great chance. He just got tired going into the straight and then started to run on again and then he missed the second last, but the race was over at that stage.

"I'm sure he'll improve a lot for it.

"When you're at that level of a race, you probably do need miles on the clock. As a five-year-old, he just wasn't battle hard enough for it.

"I've not discussed it with Willie yet. He's off a mark of 142, it will be hard to step him into a Grade One.

"He needs to show he's better than that to warrant a place in a Grade One. I imagine Willie will find a race for him somewhere along the way. He'll be a lot better for the run."

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