Thursday 19 July 2018

Maher wants Ruby to ride in Aussie National

Ruby Walsh, seen here riding Bachasson, could be on his way Down Under
Ruby Walsh, seen here riding Bachasson, could be on his way Down Under

Thomas Kelly

Ruby Walsh could be on his way Down Under to ride Bashboy when the horse bids for an historic third victory in the Australian Grand National on Sunday.

Trainer Ciaron Maher is preparing for a change of jockey for the prolific stayer, with regular rider Steve Pateman facing an appeal hearing against a careless riding charge today after he received a six-race ban at Warrnambool last Saturday.

Connections have been in touch with Walsh, who has never ridden in Australia before, about taking over in the saddle.

"We have floated the idea of getting Ruby Walsh over. He is the best in the world. There is a definite chance, so we'll see," Maher told the Herald Sun.

"He (Walsh) is certainly considering it and we'll have to see what happens to Steve."

Meanwhile, it's an all-Flat card at Sligo this evening where the feature is the Connacht Oaks Handicap, in which Sierra Sun carries top weight.

A creditable fifth to Modem in the big amateur handicap at Galway last week, Dermot Weld's four-year-old wears a visor for the first time and this might well help her secure the spoils.

Weld and stable jockey Pat Smullen travel with high hopes of landing a treble as the Aga Khan's Sidra looks banker material in the finale, while veteran Rock Critic also has decent prospects in the preceding race despite the claims of Manny Owens.

Irish Independent

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