Sunday 25 February 2018

Ruby shrugs off heavy fall as he targets swift return

Thomas Kelly

RUBY WALSH is expected to be fit to ride at Newbury today despite suffering a fall at the track yesterday.

Walsh parted company with 9/4 favourite Sollim in the Novices' Handicap Chase and was signed off for the rest of the day with a head injury.

Walsh was in good spirits later on as he held an ice pack on the back of his head and insisted: "I'll be all right. I got a bump on the back of my head and my helmet came off, but it could have been worse."

Trainer Paul Nicholls is equally confident that his number one rider will be passed fit for Hennessy day.

Walsh's rides today include big-race favourite Aiteen Thirtythree and legendary stayer Big Buck's in the Long Distance Hurdle.

Meanwhile, two of the most exciting talents of last year's hurdling division combined for a thriller over fences as Bobs Worth passed Cue Card by a short-head in the Fuller's London Pride Novices' Chase.

It would be fairer to call it a score-draw over the median trip of two and a half miles, as Cue Card carried a 7lb penalty by dint of a previous chase win, while Bobs Worth is likely to need longer distances in the future.

Colin Tizzard's Cue Card (2/1), former champion bumper winner and second in the International Hurdle last season, appeared to have matters in hand until the home straight as he jumped elastically in front.

It took even-money favourite Bobs Worth, winner of the Albert Bartlett over three miles last season, a little longer to warm to his new discipline, but he remained in contention as Cue Card became slightly sloppy at the final four fences and crept up right on the line.

Winning trainer Nicky Henderson said: "He'll improve a lot for that. I know he's going to finish up at three miles, but I wasn't in a rush to start him over that trip.

"Barry (Geraghty) said he was confident at the last that he would get there. He jumped a little left, but not violently.

"Kempton (Feltham Chase on St Stephen's Day) is the obvious race. I know you'd bump into Grands Crus but that's what the race is there for and it's something we'll discuss."

Irish Independent

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