Ruby Walsh: I’ve had some great memories at Punchestown

Ruby Walsh takes a look back at some of his fondest moments from the Punchestown Festival, which returns on Tuesday


I’ve had incredible luck in Punchestown.

When I won the 2000 Heineken Gold Cup on Commanche Court, it was remarkable. We had won the Irish Grand National just 16 days earlier. Micko’s Dream and Dorans Pride fell in front of him at the 3rd last fence and he had to jump over Dorans Pride. It was helter-skelter stuff but we got there in the end.

I won my first ever race over fences there too on Dixon Varner in the Hunters Chase back in 1997.

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When I won the Heineken Gold Cup (1999) on Imperial Call, I was only 19. To have a ride in that race was amazing, but to take on the likes of Richard Dunwoody, who rode Florida Pearl, and Tony McCoy, on Dorans Pride was incredible. He (Imperial Call) was the outsider so for him to go and jump the way he did and win was a huge thrill.

Davenport Millennium was another I remember well.

He won the Grade 1 Novice Hurdle on the Tuesday and then he won the Champion Hurdle on the Friday. But I’ve ridden some incredible novices at the Punchestown festival, in horses like Hurricane Fly, Iktitaf, Faugheen, Nicanor, Vautour.

I also won the Champion Stayers Hurdle on Quevega and the Punchestown Gold Cup on both Boston Bob and Neptune Collonges.

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