Ruby Walsh has revealed four of the key rivals he always kept tabs on throughout his career in order to ensure he was well-positioned in a race.
The 12-time Irish National Hunt champion jockey also praised the performance of apprentice Joey Sheridan after the 18-year-old secured his first Group race winner onboard Princess Zoe in the Prix du Cadran on Saturday.
Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s twice-weekly From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, Ruby opened up on his experience as a jockey and explained why Sheridan’s ride at Longchamp was so impressive.
I didn’t stop looking at the jockeys around me all through my career. I remember in the latter stages of my career, when we’d gone two furlongs in a race and you think ‘these are flying’ – you have a look to see who’s around you.
Barry Geraghty, Tony McCoy, Davy Russell, Choc Thorton – if they were all in the vicinity, I’m thinking I’m in the right place because the best jockeys are all where I am.
I did that all through my career, and people get caught out from time to time. When somebody goes off in front, you question if they know how fast they’re going and you don’t peg them back.
I always liked to take my time, drop in and see who was around me. If the good lads were around me, you tended to be in the right place.
Joey Sheridan has shown incredible confidence [on Princess Zoe]. He sat in the right place in the race. Call The Wind was the odds-against favourite, with Olivier Peslier riding, while Frankie Dettori was on Barbados.
If you’re a young jockey at the start of your career having your first ride at a racecourse, those are the two guys you want to be around.
Alkuin goes off way in front but Joey Sheridan just rode to his own fractions, to his own pace, and when Olivier Peslier tried to move closer in the short straight Sheridan went with him.
But when he realised Peslier wasn’t going to get any closer, he then went after the one in front. But he didn’t go after her in a dash. He went after her in a sustained build-up of energy and speed so that he was going to get himself all the way to the winning post.
It was brilliant judgement, and to not panic when the favourite wasn’t going to carry you into the race, to go about doing it yourself, and do it in a steady and controlled manner – that takes a bit of doing, and not everybody can do that.
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