Thursday 26 April 2018

Walsh shines as Irish Gold Cup ambitions suffer Tidal erosion

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Irish hopes for next March's Cheltenham Gold Cup suffered a major setback at Leopardstown, but Ruby Walsh still showed why he remains the most in-demand jump-jockey either side of the Irish Sea.

Yesterday's Lexus Chase was supposed to be a duel between our two big Gold Cup candidates – Flemenstar and Sir Des Champs – but there was disappointment as the winner's prize went for export after Walsh delivered Paul Nicholls' Tidal Bay with a late run between eventual second First Lieutenant and Flemenstar to win by a head.

Walsh's victory in the feature was the final leg of a near 82/1 treble for the Kildare-born rider.

The six-times champion jockey had earlier shone when getting a renewed run from Back In Focus to pip Aupcharlie in a photo-finish to make it a 1-2 for trainer Willie Mullins in the Topaz Novice Chase.

Walsh also collected aboard the Mullins-trained Supreme Carolina in the conditions hurdle.

Irish Independent

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