Ruby Walsh makes winning return ahead of Cheltenham Festival

Ruby Walsh makes winning return ahead of Cheltenham Festival
Ruby Walsh with the winning connections of Lareena after winning the thurles.ie Maiden Hurdle. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Ruby Walsh made a successful return from his lengthy spell on the sidelines when steering Lareena to a clear-cut victory at Thurles.

Walsh had been out of action since suffering a broken leg in a fall from Let's Dance at Punchestown on November 18, but has always maintained he would be back in time for the Cheltenham Festival, where he has been leading rider 11 times.

He had hoped to come back last weekend before the weather intervened and instead made his return just five days before the start of next week's showpiece meeting aboard the Willie Mullins-trained Lareena in the thurles.ie Maiden Hurdle.

Runner-up on her last two starts, the five-year-old was the 11-8 favourite to open her account and travelled well throughout on the heels of the leaders.

Walsh allowed Lareena to stride to the front after jumping the second flight from the finish and although market rival Awayinthewest looked a big threat approaching the last, the favourite was away from it the quicker and kept up the gallop to score by five lengths.

Walsh said: "She did it well and jumped really well. Her last run was a good run and the winner then has won since.

"I thought she might struggle to beat Pat Fahy's mare (Awayinthewest) but she had fitness on her side and ground it out well and pinged the last."

Regarding his own fitness, the jockey added: "I thought I was all right anyway - she won didn't she!

"We'll see what Willie decides to do (over the coming days before Cheltenham) but I don't mind, and I'll do whatever Willie wants me to do.

"When you're back you're back and he's my boss now again!"

- PA

More on this topic

The Mug’s Game: Photo finish - but I end up a winnerThe Mug’s Game: Photo finish - but I end up a winner

Ruby at his very best on Klassical DreamRuby at his very best on Klassical Dream

Good week, bad week: In National Hunt racing it’s all about relationshipsGood week, bad week: In National Hunt racing it’s all about relationships

Photo picture perfect as Willie Mullins gets Gold Cup monkey off his backPhoto picture perfect as Willie Mullins gets Gold Cup monkey off his back

More in this Section

Bulgaria national coach Krasimir Balakov and BFU committee resign – reportsBulgaria national coach Krasimir Balakov and BFU committee resign – reports

Tottenham to appear in Amazon documentaryTottenham to appear in Amazon documentary

Klopp blocks out the noise as Liverpool prepare for Old Trafford tripKlopp blocks out the noise as Liverpool prepare for Old Trafford trip

Stirling and Balbirnie star as Ireland brush aside Hong Kong in opening World Cup qualifierStirling and Balbirnie star as Ireland brush aside Hong Kong in opening World Cup qualifier


Lifestyle

Sunday Lunch costs €45 per person and includes several set courses but with a choice of mains.Restaurant Review: Bastible Restaurant, Dublin

It never ceases to stop me in my tracks when I hear my husband intone to our children one of the oft overused phrases from my stockpile of, “Can you just not?” categories.Lindsay Woods: If my children feel I’m doing it wrong then I must be doing it right

The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness — John Keats had it right about autumn.Eyes on the pies: Eight apple tarts put to the taste test

Simone Rocha invited ieStyle into her London studio for an exclusive look behind the scenes as she put the finishing touches to her acclaimed collection for Fashion Week. Rachel Marie Walsh reportsBeing Simone Rocha: An exclusive look behind the scenes

More From The Irish Examiner