Friday 24 November 2017

Ruby gets Long Run call after red tape foils Waley-Cohen

Jockey Ruby Walsh
Jockey Ruby Walsh
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Ruby Walsh will ride Long Run in tomorrow's Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris after officials at Auteuil refused to yield on a rule that means his regular rider Sam Waley-Cohen is rendered ineligible due to his amateur status.

Barry Geraghty was also unavailable for Nicky Henderson's 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero as he must sit out the final day of an eight-day whip ban.

Walsh also rides Diakali for Willie Mullins in the Prix La Barka, and Waley-Cohen's father Robert was quick to secure his services for the French version of the Gold Cup once his son was ruled out due to the Grade One being nominated as the platform for the main Quinte bet.

"I believe it will the first time he has worn my colours," Waley-Cohen Snr said of Walsh's booking. "He is a vastly experienced jockey and it made sense to have him ride as he is already over there. It's very disappointing Sam is not being allowed to ride and, in my opinion, the reasons are invalid.

"Sam is obviously very disappointed as he has ridden in the Pardubice, the Grand National and the Maryland Hunt Cup this year and he's not being allowed to ride this weekend."

Long Run finished third in Punchestown's Bibby Financial Services Gold Cup behind the Walsh-ridden Boston Bob on his last start, and won eight of his 12 starts at Auteuil – including a Grade One chase – before joining Henderson.

"Long Run has won three out of four races over fences at Auteuil. It's not a ride to turn down," Walsh said simply of the booking, which sees him team up with Henderson for a first time in two years.

Along with the Aintree Hurdle third Diakali, Mullins will also saddle his 2012 Barka winner Thousand Stars (Katie Walsh), Zaidpour (David Casey) and Glens Melody (Paul Townend) in the Grade Two hurdle.

Paul Nicholls relies on Zarkandar (David Cottin), while Mullins has booked lightweight rider Jacques Ricou for Gitane Du Berlais in a four-year-old Grade Three.

Elsewhere, America's horse of the year Wise Dan has undergone emergency surgery for a bout of colic. The seven-year-old gelding, trained by Charles LoPresti, has won 20 of his 27 starts, including two Breeders' Cup Miles.

Irish Independent

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