Ruby Walsh: I’m surprised by Minella Indo jockey booking for the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup

Robbie Power's in the saddle for the big one at Leopardstown on Saturday.

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Minella Indo will be paired with a new jockey in the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup on Saturday at Leopardstown.

Robbie Power jumps in the saddle as Henry de Bromhead’s stable star attempts to get back on track after pulling up under regular rider Rachael Blackmore in the King George on Boxing Day.

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Jack Kennedy climbed on Minella Indo for the first time in last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup after Blackmore opted for stablemate A Plus Tard in the Blue Riband, but their lack of experience together proved irrelevant as they were first past the post.

Speaking on the Dublin Racing Festival preview episode of our From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, Ruby Walsh expressed his surprise at connections deciding to change it up ahead of Minella Indo’s Cheltenham title defence next month.

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Ruby Walsh:

“Connections have obviously decided that they want whoever rides Minella Indo in the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup to ride him in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. That’s fine, they want continuity.

“It’s a brilliant chance for Robbie Power and I’m delighted for him. He’s one of the few lads in the weighing room that would have been there when I was. I consider him a friend and somebody I admire.

“When you look at the other side, why would you do something different with Minella Indo to what you did last year? Rachael rode him in this last year before opting for A Plus Tard in the Cheltenham Gold Cup where Jack Kennedy took over.

“You’ve gone for a new jockey in Robbie. He’s a brilliant rider and he’s going to get to know the horse but there’s every chance come Cheltenham Gold Cup day that you could have had Rachael or Jack.

Minella Indo Jack Kennedy A Plus Tard Rachael Blackmore Al Boum Photo Paul Townend Cheltenham March 19, 2021

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“He proved last year that he’s an easy horse to get to know because Jack had only jumped two fences on him in Henry de Bromhead’s yard and then went and won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on him.

“You can see they logic in wanting continuity but I don’t know why they changed from what they did last year.”

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