Wednesday 18 July 2018

Ruby Walsh hoping to make race-riding return on Thursday after Storm Emma delayed his plans

Ruby Walsh Photo: Sportsfile
Ruby Walsh Photo: Sportsfile

Keith Hamer

Ruby Walsh could return to race-riding at Thurles on Thursday after nearly four months on the sidelines.

Walsh has been out of action since suffering a broken leg in a fall from Let's Dance at Punchestown on November 18, but has always maintained he would be back in time for the Cheltenham Festival, where he has been leading rider 11 times.

He has the added incentive of partnering ante-post favourite Getabird in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle that opens the meeting on Tuesday.

He had hoped to come back last weekend but the cold snap put paid to that. However, with a marked improvement in the weather, Walsh has his sights set on either Thurles or Navan, with both scheduled to race on Thursday.

"I'm ready for action. I was hoping to go last weekend but the weather put a halt to that," Walsh told Racing UK.

"We've several meetings rearranged for this week but we've still got lying snow and thawing snow, so what's going to happen is uncertain. Hopefully I'll be back Thursday or Friday with a bit of luck,"

"I've been riding out for dad (Ted Walsh) for the last two and a half weeks.

"The outlook may be a bit better for Thurles than Navan.

"I don't know what I'd be riding at this stage. Thurles on Thursday is a long way away.

"We've a couple of entries in the maiden hurdle."

As for how many rides he will take ahead of the Festival, Walsh will weigh up each opportunity.

"It's risk versus reward. For the last 15 and a half weeks the reward for me has always been the Supreme, so it's how many risks do you take. Every time you ride in a race you take a chance," he said.

"You have to balance up how many risks you are going to take before you get the ultimate reward and for me that has always been to walk out for the Supreme Novices'.

"I've always been careful in the past and it won't be any different this year.

"Cheltenham has always been very lucky for me and I always enjoy going there.

"I probably do put a lot of emphasis on Cheltenham. That's the way I look at it."

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