Ruby Walsh expects "a big week" for Willie Mullins at Cheltenham

The 2016 Festival's leading jockey spoke to Newstalk Breakfast

BY Daniel Kelly 13:31 Monday 13 March 2017, 13:31 13 Mar 2017

Ruby Walsh walking the track at Cheltenham on Monday morning. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Since 2004, Ruby Walsh has been the undoubted king of Prestbury Park.

In the past 13 years, the 37-year-old has been the leading jockey ten festivals. In 2009 and 2016, he topped the charts with seven wins. 

Walsh spoke to Newstalk Breakfast on Monday morning from the track, and he said the nerves were starting to lessen ahead of the four-day event.

One of Walsh's biggest rides on the opening day of the Festival will be in the Mare's Hurdle aboard Limini. Walsh had the chance to ride Vroum Vroum Mag, but picked the younger horse.

"The safe call would have been to ride Vroum Vroum Mag. The brave choice was probably Limini", he told Alan Quinlan on Monday morning. "Limini looks to be an improving mare, but Vroum Vroum Mag is a proven one. Unfortunately I cannot ride the two of them. Form is form, and Limini's recent form is better than Vroum Vroum Mag's. That's the way I went."

Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

The relationship between Walsh and Willie Mullins at Cheltenham is legendary and the Kildare jockey expects "a big week" for Mullins' horses at Cheltenham.

"I think they are in great nick... I hope I can ride some of the right ones. I'd be quietly confident. The horses are in really good order at the moment."

Douvan is Walsh's best ride at the Festival he admitted, and added the horse only needed "average luck" in Wednesday's Queen Mother Champion Chase to win.

"He's the best horse. He's proven that. He's beaten them all before. Once he doesn't have bad luck, he'll win".

Walsh has won 18 times at the Festival in the past four years. He will be hopeful to continue his reign as the leading jockey this week. 


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