Ruby Walsh has plans to become a Flat trainer when he calls time on his jumps jockey career.
The county Kildare jockey admitted that while he hopes retirement is some way off yet, he believes the Flat represents a more attractive financial proposition than National Hunt.
“The life span of a jockey has definitely increased in the last 10 years,” he said at the Irish Examiner sports breakfast in Cork yesterday morning.
“Whereas 34, 35 used to be the norm it now seems to be 40 so hopefully I’ve a few more years in me but if I was to go training horses I would train Flat horses.”
Expanding on his reasoning, Walsh added: “Flat racing is a business; it’s where the money is. Jump racing, unfortunately, is the poor relation. Flat racing is global, worldwide. Jumpracing is confined between ourselves, England, a small bit in France, a tiny bit in Australia and a little bit in America.
“We were in Japan [for Blackstairmountain’s victory in the Nakayama Grand Jump last April], there’s big prize money there, but there’s very few races. Flat racing is global.”
The 34-year-old cited the dominance of current boss Willie Mullins on the National Hunt scene and the fact the age profile of some of Ireland’s most successful Flat trainers such as Jim Bolger, Dermot Weld, John Oxx and Kevin Prendergast meant they could be off the scene by the time his training career starts.
Walsh also looked ahead to Cheltenham next month, updating upwards of an audience of 200 people present at yesterday’s breakfast meeting on the latest news of Willie Mullins’ Festival team.
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