He gave up his stable jockey position with the Ditcheat yard in order to spend more time in his native Ireland and less time experiencing the delights of airport departure lounges and Ryanair customer service.
But Ruby does have one of the best rides at the meeting. He will be in the saddle of the 6 year old Willie Mullins trained mare, Annie Power. She will have in her sights the 4 time winner of this race, the 11 year old Big Buck’s. But more of that in a later post.
What about the big one? The Gold Cup on Friday. What does Ruby think will land the feature race of the meeting?
He says: “I think if it is a dry day then Bobs Worth wins all day, every day. He quickened up on decentish ground at Leopardstown. I rode Rubi Ball that day but Bobs Worth quickened and he lengthened his stride from the back of the last.”
Despite the fact that Bobs Worth won the Gold Cup last year, and has won the RSA Chase and Albert Bartlett races, Ruby Walsh admits that he was surprised by just how good the Nicky Henderson trained favourite was when racing in Ireland.
Ruby added: “I was quite taken with him that day. It was the day I thought – wow – he’s a good horse.”
In my opinion, writes Vernon Grant, ground conditions will dictate the winner of this race. If, as forecast, there will be little rainfall and the ground dries out all week long then, yes, Ruby is right. The current 9/4 favourite Bobs Worth is the most likely winner.
Members of VG Tips have had some profitable wins on second favourite Silviniaco Conti in the past. And that Paul Nicholls trained horse may provide the greatest threat to Bobs Worth.
But the performance of Bobs Worth in the race to which Ruby refers was impressive. All punters said in unison: ‘Bobs Worth is back.’
Personally I am sorry that Cue Card will not be in the race. I had been looking forward to that beauty taking on the front two in the betting market.
But there is much racing to savour before Friday and I shall be sending my daily Cheltenham tips to members in plenty of time for them to read my analysis and make up their own minds as to which to bet on.
Bring it on!