Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Katie Walsh waits on Seabass National ride

Oh to be a fly on the wall in the Walsh household! With Ruby Walsh playing his cards close to his chest as he waits until as late as possible before deciding which horse to ride in the John Smith's Grand National at Aintree on April 14, his sister Katie knows that should he reject the mount on Seabass she will most likely be given the leg up on the horse who is unbeaten in his last seven outings, writes Elliot Slater.

Ruby Walsh, stable jockey to both Irish champion jumps trainer Willie Mullins and British champion jumps trainer Paul Nicholls, has a handful of possible rides, but most people anticipate that if the horse makes it to the big day the hugely popular Irishman will partner the strongly fancied Prince de Beauchene, an impressive winner of the Grade 2 At The Races Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in February. Those betting Grand National money need to bear this in mind.

That would leave Ted Walsh, Ruby's father and trainer of Seabass, able to turn to his daughter Katie who already appears to have been given the nod that she will renew her association on Seabass on whom she is unbeaten in two rides. Pat Glynn, spokesman for the Turtle Island gelding's owners the Gunners Syndicate, has already said that they have every confidence in Katie having seen her steer their charge to victory at Limerick in December before following up on the hugely improved staying chaser in January when winning the valuable Leopardstown Handicap Chase by nearly eight-lengths from Out Now. Anyone following the Grand National odds should remember this.

Glynn reasons that Katie knows the horse and seems to get on very well with him, and he would rather have the top lady rider on board a horse she is familiar with than turn to a male counterpart who hasn't had time to get to know the flying nine-year-old. A top priced 20/1 shot, a victory for a Kate Walsh-ridden Seabass would create a sensational new chapter in the amazing history of 'the world's greatest steeplechase'.

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