Ruby Walsh: To be crocked as a jockey at Christmas is a real kick in the rocks

He was injured last season but Ruby Walsh is back fighting fit & makes a rare Festive visit to Limerick to ride Getabird on St Stephen's Day. He'll have one eye on the big screen though ...

Ruby Walsh pose


It’s a long time since I’ve ridden at Limerick on December 26 but they’ve a Grade One novice chase this year so I’ll go there to ride Getabird.

I’d sooner go anywhere to ride the best horses in the best races rather than have five rides in ordinary races.

I regularly went to the King George on the 26th when I had a ride in the race – but I’ve nothing to ride there this year so it doesn’t bother me. I’ll watch it on the big screen like everyone else.

We just haven’t been able to get one of ours ready in time for Kempton with the dry Autumn.

There’s no point going for Grade 1 races against the best of the English horses who have had a run, without at least being able to match them for fitness.

On the bright side though, I’m back riding this year as last season I was injured and doing TV work over Christmas.

If I ever though I was cold riding in a race, I knew all about it standing in front of a camera for three hours.

It was f***ing freezing. I went home and made sure to put on three times the amount of clothes for the next day and different shoes.

To be crocked as a jockey at Christmas is a real kick in the rocks.

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King George VI Chase, Kempton,15.05

There’s nothing standing out to me that is guaranteed to perform in this year’s King George at Kempton.

Since I rode against Might Bite in the RSA Chase two season ago I’ve been very impressed with the ability he clearly has must have. The speed he travelled and the way he jumped was fantastic.

However, I was disgusted with his run in the Betfair Chase at Haydock as most people were.

But for all the question marks surrounding him, the others have plenty to answer too.

Will Waiting Patiently get the trip? Will Politologue’s stay? Will Thistlecrack’s jumping hold up. Can Bristol De Mai back up his Haydock performance this time when he hasn’t in the past? Will Native River run to his best if the ground is too quick?

I’d love to see Waiting Patiently win it for Ruth Jefferson – that would be a great story. He was brilliant at Ascot last year but this is a big ask first time up this season.

When it all comes down to it, I’d still be swayed by Might Bite’s natural ability and he is the reigning champion here. It’s a marginal call but it should be a great race as usual.

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What do you think?