Ruby Walsh: Jockeys were an easy target after 2006 Galway incident – it was insulting

Ruby looked back at his 2006 fine at Galway on the latest episode of our From the Horse's Mouth podcast

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On Friday’s From the Horse’s Mouth podcast, Ruby looked back at how in 2006, he together with nine other jockeys were each fined €200 as a result of walking their mounts with the field for a prolonged spell after the start of the Cunningham Higgins Specialist Cars Handicap Hurdle at Galway on September 10, when the race was won by Barry Geraghty on Artistic Lad, a length and a quarter ahead of Ruby on Mountain Snow with Paul Carberry a head third on Marbeuf and another head back to the fourth. A subsequent appeal got nowhere.

I took it very personally the fine we got in Galway in 2006. Normally we wanted to jump off so we’d watch for the tape, we walked for maybe a 100 yards.

Now I can accept that people mightn’t have thought that that didn’t look great, but there was nothing wrong with it and it was tactics.

I believe the three highest-rated horses were separated by heads and necks – it was a really tight finish between myself, Barry and Paul, but we were found guilty of acting in a manner prejudicial to the good image of Irish horse racing.

Ruby Walsh pose

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I took that as insulting, that’s somebody who’s cheating. I mean when you look at what has gone on in racing in the last two years, you think about the different court cases that have gone on and different decisions that have been made that haven’t shown racing in a good light. None of them have ever been found guilty of acting in a manner prejudicial to the good image of Irish racing.

Yet, we were as jockeys because we were an easy target.

You watch cycling in the velodrome and you watch them doing different things with tactics, how slow they go and they go up the bank and down the bank. Tactics are a huge part of racing, it’s not about just jumping out and going as fast as you can.

Tactics are massive, we’ll see that now when racing starts back. Hopefully. there’ll be more racing and more people might watch it because there will be nothing else on.

But, tactics are a huge part of it and they weren’t understood that day.

I just think the big boys got the little boys, but I never stopped giving out to them.

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