Ruby back in saddle after injury lay-off
Ruby Walsh was in action after racing at Leopardstown yesterday as he put Mikael D'Haguenet through his paces.
Walsh has been out since suffering a broken leg in a fall on Corrick Bridge at Down Royal in November. But with Cheltenham looming, he plans to be back race-riding this week -- possibly delaying his expected return at Taunton on Thursday to Saturday.
Entered in the Irish Independent Arkle Trophy, RSA Chase and World Hurdle at Cheltenham next month, the Willie Mullins-trained Mikael D'Haguenet jumped a circuit with stablemates Some Target, Pomme Tiepy and Quel Esprit, finishing upsides the latter.
The last Sunday in February is traditionally a busy one at Leopardstown but this year was quiet, with a number of Cheltenham contenders, including Big Zeb, expected to work today.
Meanwhile, classy mare For Bill is heading to Limerick next after recording her ninth victory from just 12 starts in Saturday's Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Chase at Navan. Only four were declared for the €25,000 event and chief market rival, Willie Mullins' Morning Supreme, was a non-runner.
Michael Winters' eight-year-old was sent off the 1/6 favourite under Davy Russell and odds-on backers were always likely to collect. Inistioge tried to put the pace to the race but without being asked a question, For Bill cruised to an eight-length win.
"She will go to Limerick next on March 13 (Dawn Run Novice Chase). That's the plan," said Winters.
Russell went on to complete a double aboard Tharawaat, which was left clear by the fall of Western Charmer three out to beat Flying Windsor in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Novice Chase.
Mullins was earlier on the mark with C'Est Ca in the Larry Rowen Memorial Beginners Chase.
Sent off the 7/4 favourite, he only had Doc O'Donnell to contend with from the second-last but drew clear to win by eight lengths.