Ruby Walsh may not be worried... yet, writes Stephen Barry.
However, Rich Ricci, the owner of many of Walsh's top Cheltenham chances, including Faugheen, Douvan and Getabird, was impressed by how the world's first robot jockey has matched up to Walsh, Paul Townend and co.
The prototype jockey is capable of directing a horse to gallop to 30mph, jumping four-foot high fences and communicating with humans through its Artificial Intelligence and built-in voice.
BetBright, who developed the robot in three months, say it "offers a glimpse into the potential future of sport".
It follows a report, commissioned by the Dublin-based bookmaker and written by futurologist Dr Ian Pearson, which said robot jockeys, who have the potential to compete with and even beat the best jockeys in the world, could be possible by 2025.
“I was genuinely impressed with what the team was able to create in just three months,” said Ricci, a BetBright Chairman and racehorse owner.
“I had expected RoboJockey to be able to ride but I never expected it to be able to jump fences or talk to me about upcoming races.”
The robot jockey will be on display for punters to see at the Cheltenham Festival on Friday.