Ruby Walsh: My five favourite Cheltenham Festival memories

Ruby looks back on some glorious moments from Festivals gone by...

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MY FIRST CHELTENHAM WINNER

My first winner at Cheltenham in 1998, Alexander Banquet in the Champion Bumper when he beat Joe Mac, was an amazing day. I was very grateful at the time to have been left on him. As an amateur like I was then, beating the professionals was a feeling I will never forget.

COMMANCHE COURT

I didn’t even ride him. But I was looking after him and had done all his work with him at home.

My father was training him, and for a small yard to have a horse go and win the Triumph Hurdle in 1997 was great. To be involved with a horse – schooling him, travelling with him – and watch him do that still raises the hairs on the back of my neck.

WINNING THE CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP IN 2007

It was the culmination of an amazing year for Kauto Star in 2007, and it was the race I always dreamed of winning. To me it’s the greatest race there is and to win it on Kauto Star was an amazing feeling.

A COMEBACK TREBLE IN THE 2011 FESTIVAL

Having been out with a broken leg, to come back on Day One and win on Al Ferof in the Supreme Novices, followed by Hurricane Fly in the Champion Hurdle and rounded off with Quevega in the Mare’s Hurdle. There were plenty of doubts about my fitness, and it was great to come back like that.

ANNIE POWER’S CHAMPION HURDLE IN 2016

There are many reasons for choosing this one. She was a wonderful mare. Having been beaten on two previous occasions – once after falling and once when she was second behind More Of That – to bounce back and gallop some very good horses into the ground was a hugely satisfying feeling.

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