Walsh back in action in Britain with one ride
RUBY WALSH returns to Britain to ride for the first time in seven months at Cheltenham this afternoon when he partners one runner for trainer Tony Martin.
Walsh's absence from Britain is a result of his decision in May to step down as stable jockey to trainer Paul Nicholls and concentrate his efforts with Willie Mullins, blaming the tiring travel between his home in Ireland and Britain and his desire to spend more time with his family.
However, the rider's return marks the start of the main period of jumps racing in Britain with Walsh still keen to ride in the big races and at the major festival meetings.
Walsh takes the ride on Quick Jack, who is favourite for the final race at Cheltenham today. Walsh has previously won the 2m½f novice handicap hurdle with Edgardo Sol for Nicholls in 2011 and on Tipperary All Star for Michael Halford in 2006.
Also on the card, the highly-progressive Standing Ovation attempts to complete a five-tiner, just six days after winning the Badger Ales Chase at Wincanton.
Trainer David Pipe said: "The signs are good at home but you never know until returning to the racecourse."
1. It is interesting to note that a six-year-old has won the last seven renewals of the 2.05 at Cheltenham, and nothing older than seven has been successful, which would be a small concern for followers of Oscar Whisky.
2. Apart from 2007, when Noble Alan made a successful debut as favourite, the 3.25 at Newcastle hasn't been a great race for the market leader, with only Liberty Court managing third last season. Look for a bit of value from a horse that has run at least once before.
3. Youngsters have done well in the 3.50 at Cheltenham, with four-year-olds finishing first and third in 2009, first in 2010, first and second in 2011, plus the only four-year-old in 2012 finished fourth at 14-1. Quick Jack is interesting for that age group.
Pointers appear courtesy of Raceform Interactive
Cheltenham: hurdle and chase, good, good to soft in places, cross-country, good
Newcastle: good, good to firm in places in home straight