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Although my parents are not hugely into horse racing, the Grand National has always been a big event. The jockeys I really remember from my childhood are Ruby Walsh and AP McCoy. However, Ruby Walsh was always my favourite. I’m not sure why he was, it might have been as simple as the fact that we had the same name.
But no one can deny he is a fantastic jockey. He received the amateur jockey title twice and won the Grand National at his first attempt in 2000. This is something all jump jockeys aspire to do and many ride in the race for years and never win. In 2004/2005 he one the Irish, Welsh and English Grand Nationals on 3 different horses.
As I’m sure many of you will be aware, this week is the Cheltenham Festival and Ruby Walsh is potentially the star. During his career, Ruby has had 48 winners at Cheltenham Festival (but it may be more by the end of the week!) He has also been leading jockey at Cheltenham for 9 times since 2004. Ruby and trainer Willie Mullins have a lot of fantastic horses running this week and this duo dominated the first day of the festival. When thinking about putting money on a horse at Cheltenham, as a general rule, if it’s ridden by Ruby and trained by Mullins, it’s worth a bet in my eyes!
However, when it comes to Aintree and the Grand National, I have learnt to never put money on Ruby, as he always seems to have a nasty fall in one of the races before when I have money on him!
Do you have a favourite jockey or a jockey who stands out to you?