Sport Horse Racing

Monday 20 November 2017

Walsh itching to get back on track

Thomas Kelly

Ruby Walsh is "counting down the hours" to Newbury's meeting this weekend as he prepares to return from a four-month injury lay-off.

The rider has been sidelined since breaking his leg in a fall at Down Royal in early November, missing plenty of big-race winners for retained trainers Paul Nicholls and Willie Mullins in that period.

Walsh returned to the public arena on Sunday when riding in the traditional Cheltenham schooling session after racing at Leopardstown, but he will be back under rules at Newbury on Friday.

He will not pitch back in with a full book of rides, but after once again riding some of Nicholls' Festival hopes yesterday, Walsh is itching to get back on the track.

"This morning I sat on Kauto Star, Aiteen Thirtythree, Al Ferof, Niche Market and Definity and it's all systems go," he said yesterday.

"I'm not feeling any pain and it's business as usual. I'm flying back home to Ireland and (I'm) due see the doctor tomorrow, but it's just a formality and a routine appointment.

"I've become quite good mates with the doctor, as we've been spending a lot of time in each other's company. We're on first-name terms all right!

"I'll be back in England on Friday when I will probably have one or two mounts. I might have a ride in the two-mile-five-furlong novice hurdle -- I see Paul has four entered -- and possibly Don't Turn Bach in the novice handicap hurdle.

"Hopefully Paul can get me back on a winner. It'll be a case of easing myself back into the saddle and I'll probably only have a couple of rides again on the Saturday too at Newbury.

"It's exciting times and I'm just counting down the hours now until I'm back on the racecourse."

Meanwhile, at Leicester yesterday, the Jonjo O'Neill-trained Galaxy Rock gave Tony McCoy one of his easiest successes of the season in the novices' chase. The 3/10 shot was McCoy's only mount of the day and the champion jockey took his tally for the campaign to 190 with the minimum of fuss.

After Rester Vrai unseated his rider at the 10th and Not So Prudent followed suit at the next fence, Hommage A Bach was the only rival to the favourite, which won by 42 lengths.

Irish Independent

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