Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ruby decides to partner On His Own at Aintree

After a great deal of soul searching and consideration of the many options open to him, it has been revealed that the tremendously popular Irish rider, Ruby Walsh, will partner the Willie Mullins-trained On His Own in this weekend’s John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree, writes Elliot Slater.

Betting markets reacted quickly to the news with the 20/1 that had previously been on offer in Grand National betting becoming a distant memory, as punters rushed to take the last of the 16/1 available.  Many firms went 14/1, whilst some reacted to the news by cutting On His Own to just 10/1, leaving him pushing for big-race favouritism just behind Synchronised and Junior.

Walsh had been expected to partner the long-time favourite for the contest, Prince de Beauchene. However, when the Willie Mullins-trained gelding met with a late setback in training, last week, which ruled him out of taking his chance, the field was once again open as to which horse the jockey who partnered Hedgehunter to win ‘the world’s greatest steeplechase’ in 2005 would ride.

Now, with the news that Walsh will partner the winner of the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park in January, the merry-go-round of final jockey bookings for the showcase Liverpool event can finally begin to move into full swing.

Mullins will surely confirm jockeys for his other anticipated runners - Apt Approach, Quiscover Fontaine and The Midnight Club - whilst Ted Walsh (Ruby’s father), will almost certainly confirm Ruby’s sister Katie as the rider of his strongly fancied Seabass, a horse who comes into the Grand National having won his last seven outings and seemingly still on the upgrade.

Paul Nicholls, for whom Ruby Walsh is also the stable jockey, will now be in a position to confirm a rider for his one and only contender this season, Neptune Collonges.

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