Ruby Walsh: I carry a fear factor

Ruby Walsh feels his younger weighroom colleagues are too intimidated to slag him off when he has a bad day.

Speaking at yesterday’s Irish Examiner Ronan O’Gara Ruby Walsh Breakfast in Cork, the 35-year-old said only Barry Geraghty and AP McCoy would dare slag him after a particularly bad day on the track.

“I would say most of them are probably a fraction afraid of me in that sense,” Walsh said. “Barry Geraghty might say something, maybe McCoy. But I’d say the rest of them when I’d be in that sort of humour would tend to stay away.”

Asked if he felt his younger colleagues were afraid of him, Walsh replied: “A little bit. I’m a good bit older than the rest of them. So’s Barry Geraghty. If I sit down beside Johnny Burke, Paul Townend or Bryan Cooper, they’re 14 to 16 years younger than me.

"So they’re not really going to start slagging me if I’ve had a shit day. Barry Geraghty might, Tony McCoy might but the young guys won’t.”

The Irish Examiner columnist also revealed his pet hate — lazy people.

“I hate people who don’t want to work,” he said.

“Not hate, that’s the wrong word. I have no admiration for lazy people. You have to be willing to work, get out of bed — people should get an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. I have no admiration for people who don’t want to work.”

Looking ahead to next month’s Cheltenham Festival, Walsh was remaining coy on whether he will ride dual Champion Hurdle winner Hurricane Fly or Faugheen, the favourite for this year’s renewal.

Insisting sentiment won’t play a part in his decision, Walsh said: “At this minute in time Hurricane Fly probably has more solid form. Faugheen would look to have more potential as the younger horse so I can’t really give an answer.

“They say you should always go on form and at this minute the form horse is Hurricane Fly. But I would have to think Faugheen has more potential.”

Walsh, who nominated Silviniaco Conti as his choice if he could ride one horse outside of the Willie Mullins stable and selected Annie Power in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle as his Festival banker, talked up the chances of Un De Sceaux in the Arkle Chase — as long as he copes with the Cheltenham atmosphere.

“He’s an amazing horse. We know he copes with the travelling because we brought him to Auteuil twice so that’s not going to bother him. You just hope he copes with the occasion. He is highly strung and Cheltenham is a completely different environment.

"The attendance is way more than a horse is used to running in front of so that he copes with the environment, that’s my only worry.”

Un De Sceaux likes to bowl along in front but Walsh insists he does have a brain.

“There’s no tactical cleverness or genius to riding him, he just pulls out and goes and wears his heart on his sleeve,” Walsh said. “He goes a fair rate of knots but he does have a brain. You do feel he’s looking at the fences, he’s having a look at what he’s doing. He’s not just charging down stupidly. While he does everything rapidly, there’s definitely a brain in there.”

Despite having an enviable book of rides, Walsh, who broke his arm on the final day of last year’s Festival, insisted he would be happy to leave Cheltenham injury-free and with one winner this time around.

“A good Festival is one winner and walk out unaided on Friday. People say, ‘What are you on about, with the rides you have, how could you be happy with one winner?’ But after last year I’d certainly be happy with just the one.”

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