Ruby Walsh

Ruby Walsh took the world of National Hunt racing by surprise when, immediately after winning the Punchestown Gold Cup on Kemboy in May, 2019, he announced his retirement. In his 24-year career, Walsh rode over 2,500 winners, including 59 at the Cheltenham Festival – 23 ahead of his nearest pursuer, Barry Geraghty – and for several years had the pick of rides from Paul Nicholls and Willie Mullins, both champion trainers on their respective sides of the Irish Sea. Indeed, Willie Mullins, who has been Irish Champion National Hunt Trainer every season since 2007/08, described Walsh as ‘the daddy of them all’.

In fact, it was for County Carlow-based handler that Walsh rode his first Cheltenham Festival winner, Alexander Banquet in the Champion Bumper, as an 18-year-old amateur rider in 1998. He turned professional at the start of the following season and, in the next 18 years, was leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival 11 times, including five consecutive years between 2013 and 2017. In 2009, Walsh set a record by riding seven winners over the four days and equalled that record in 2016, by which time he had left his role as stable jockey to Paul Nicholls after over a decade commuting between Britain and Ireland.

Of the four main ‘championship’ races run at the Cheltenham Festival, Walsh won the Cheltenham Gold Cup twice on Kauto Star, trained by Nicholls, the Champion Hurdle four times, on Hurricane Fly (twice), Faugheen and Annie Power, all trained by Mullins, the Queen Mother Champion Chase three times, on Azertyuiop and Master Minded (twice), both trained by Nicholls, and the Stayers’ Hurdle five times on Big Buck’s (four times), trained by Nicholls, and Nichols Canyon, trained by Mullins. Elsewhere on the Festival programme, he also won the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle eight times on Quevega (six times), Vroum Vroum Mag and Benie Des Dieux.

Cheltenham Festival 2015 Results

Tuesday, March 10 – – – Wed | Thu | Fri

1.30pm SkyBet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
(Grade One) 2m 110yds £120,000
1 Douvan 2/1F
2 Shaneshill 9/1
3 Sizing John 25/1
12 ran

2.05pm Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase
(Grade One) 2m £150,000
1 Un De Sceaux 4/6F
2 God’s Own 33/1
3 Josses Hill 12/1
11 ran

2.40pm Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase
(Grade Three) 3m 1f £90,000
1 The Druids Nephew 8/1
2 Grand Jesture 25/1
3 Gallant Oscar 9/1
4 Indian Castle 16/1
5 Pendra 9/1
24 ran

3.20pm Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
(Grade One) 2m 110yds £400,000
1 Faugheen 4/5
2 Arctic Fire 20/1
3 Hurricane Fly 8/1
8 ran

4.00pm OLBG Mares’ Hurdle
(Grade Two) 2m 4f £100,000
1 Glens Melody 6/1
2 Polly Peachum 9/1
3 Bitofapuzzle 16/1
15 ran

4.40pm Toby Balding National Hunt Chase
(Amateurs) 4m £85,000
1 Cause Of Causes 8/1
2 Broadway Buffalo 12/1
3 The Job Is Right 10/1
4 Perfect Gentleman 10/1
17 ran

5.15pm CHAPS Restaurants Barbados Novices’ Handicap Chase
(Listed) 2m 4f 110y £60,000
1 Irish Cavalier 11/1
2 Thomas Crapper 6/1F
3 Generous Ranson 8/1
4 Horizontal Speed 12/1
5 Knock House 12/1
20 ran

Wednesday, March 11 – – – Tue | Thu | Fri

1.30pm
Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle
(Grade One) 2m 5f £120,000
1 Windsor Park 9/2
2 Parlour Games 13/2
3 Nichols Canyon 7/2F
10 ran

2.05pm RSA Chase
(Grade One) 3m 110yds £150,000
1 Don Poli 13/8F
2 Southfield Theatre 13/2
3 Wounded Warrior 12/1
8 ran

2.40pm Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle
(Grade Three) 2m 5f £80,000
1 Aux Ptit Soins 9/1
2 Zabana 25/1
3 Activial 17/2F
4 Tagliatelle 14/1
5 Volnay De Thaix 18/1
6 Hammersly Lake 25/1
25 ran

3.20pm BetWay Queen Mother Champion Chase
(Grade One) 2m £350,000
1 Dodging Bullets 9/2
2 Somersby 33/1
3 Special Tiara 18/1
9 ran

4.00pm Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase
(Handicap) 3m 7f £60,000
1 Rivage D’Or 16/1
2. Any Currency 7/1
3. Uncle Junior 20/1
4. Dogora 20/1
16 ran

4.40pm Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
(Grade Three) 2m 110yds £75,000
1 Qualando 25/1
2 Bouvreuil 14/1
3 The Saint James 33/1
4 Starchitect 16/1
22 ran

5.15pm Weatherbys Champion Bumper
(Grade One) 2m 110yds £60,000
1 Moon Racer 9/2F
2 Modus 33/1
3 Wait For Me 9/1
4 Yanworth 16/1
23 ran

Thursday, March 12 – – – Tue | Wed | Fri

1.30pm JLT Novices’ Chase
(Listed Race) 2m 5f £120,000
1 Vautour 6/4
2 Apache Stronghold 7/1
3 Valseur Lido 9/2
8 ran

2.05pm Pertemps Network Final
(Listed Race) 3m £80,000
1 Call The Cops 9/1
2 Unique De Cotte 14/1
3 The Tourad Man 20/1
4 Henryville 50/1
5 Aqalim 25/1
23 ran

2.40pm Ryanair Chase
(Grade One) 2m 5f £300,000
1 Uxizandre 16/1
2 Ma Filleule 5/1
3 Don Cossack 5/2
14 ran

3.20pm Ladbrokes World Hurdle
(Grade One) 3m £300,000
1 Cole Harden 14/1
2 Saphir Du Rheu 5/1F
3 Zarkandar 6/1
4 At Fishers Cross 14/1
16 ran

4.00pm Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate
(Grade Three) 2m 5f £90,000
1 Darna 33/1
2 Monetaire 11/2F
3 Rawnaq 25/1
4 Buywise 15/2
23 ran

4.40pm Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase
(Amateurs) 3m 2f £60,000
1 The Package 9/1
2 Bless The Wings 28/1
3 Buddy Bolero 20/1
4 Grand Vision 11/1
5 Heaney 20/1
24 ran

5.15pm St Patrick’s Day Derby
(Charity Race) 1m 5f
1 Knights Parade (James Collins)
2 Hurricane Ridge (Hayley O’Connor)
3 Monarch’s Way (Jonathan Mills)
12 ran

Friday, March 13 – – – Tue | Wed | Thu
1.30pm JCB Triumph Hurdle Race
(Grade One) 2m 1f £120,000
1 Peace & Co 2/1F
2 Top Notch 7/1
3 Hargam 8/1
16 ran

2.05pm Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle
(Grade Three) 2m 1f £80,000
1 Wicklow Brave 25/1
2 Sort It Out 17/2
3 Quick Jack 8/1
4 Max Dynamite 14/1
5 Analifet 33/1
24 ran

2.40pm Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
(Grade One) 3m £120,000
1 Martello Tower 14/1
2 Milsean 33/1
3 No More Heroes 6/1
4 Arbre De Vie 16/1
19 ran

3.20pm Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup
(Chase) (Grade One) 3m 2f 110yds £550,000
1 Coneygree 7/1
2 Djackadam 10/1
3 Road To Riches 8/1
4 Holywell 8/1
16 ran

4.00pm St James’s Place Foxhunter Steeplechase
(Amateurs) 3m 2f 110yds £40,000
1 On The Fringe 6/1
2 Following Dreams 50/1
3 Paint the Clouds 11/4F
4 Carsonstown Boy 11/1
24 ran

4.40pm Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
2m 4f 110yds £50,000
1 Killultagh Vic 7/1
2 Noble Endeavour 14/1
3 Roi Des Francs 3/1F
4 Kauto Grand Mogul 33/1
5 Shelford 25/1
21 ran

5.15pm A P McCoy Grand Annual Chase
(Handicap) (Grade Three) 2m 110yds £90,000
1 Next Sensation 16/1
2 Eastlake 12/1
3 Croco Bay 14/1
4 Ned Buntline 4/1J
20 ran

The total prize fund for the four days of The Festival = £3.9 million.