Ruby Walsh: Paul Nicholls won’t have an easy job getting Laurina back on track

The Cheltenham Festival winner switched yards a few days ago.

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Laurina looked set to be a superstar, piling up the wins before a fourth-place finish in the 2019 Champion Hurdle seemed to completely knock her off her stride. Wins suddenly became harder to come by and questions were asked.

Trainer Willie Mullins tried a change of tact by sending her over fences and it delivered an immediate result with the mare scoring on debut, but it was short-lived as she was pulled up in her next two outings.

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This week she was moved from Mullins to Paul Nicholls, and Ruby Walsh, who rode for both trainers with distinction for years, says the latter might have a hard time turning Laurina around.

Speaking on this week’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, Ruby said: “She definitely trained off last year but she’s a very, very talented mare when she is in good form.

“She was very good in her debut over fences but her other runs weren’t so inspiring. It’ll be interesting to see if they stick over fences or if they go back over hurdles with her. She’s a mare with a big engine, she’s just proven hard to keep right.

“Does that actually happen,” Paddy asked, “Like, does she go over there and a change of scenery will slider her up type of thing?”

“Yeah,” Ruby continued, “A change of scenery, change of training regime, different things like that, Paddy, yeah it could work you know? I’m sure Jared Sullivan and Sullivan Bloodstock are hoping it will work for her but it might not just be straightforward.”

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