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Walsh on why he rides the favourite in the Grand National betting

| 30.03.2011

It may have been a tough decision for Ruby Walsh to pick his ride in the Grand National, but many jockeys can only dream of riding the class of horse that Ruby had to pick from.

Ruby settled on riding 8/1 favourite The Midnight Club for Willie Mullins, but there are a number of horses towards the head of the Grand National betting that Ruby could have taken the ride on.

It’s a decision that the Irishman didn’t take lightly, but the draw of riding the Grand National favourite and the fact the horse enters the race the most unexposed of his potential rides meant Walsh couldn’t overlook The Midnight Club.

“You can only ride one and I just thought The Midnight Club was the most unexposed in the handicap of all the horses I could ride,” said Walsh.

“He might lack a bit of experience, there’s probably plenty of reasons why people won’t fancy him.”

Ruby misses out on riding 12/1 joint second favourite What A Friend and 16/1 shot Niche Market for Paul Nicholls, and with Nicholls and Mullins boasting 11 Grand National entries between them, Walsh had plenty of choice.

The Grand National odds suggest he’s made the right one but with just 26 winning favourites in 163 Grand Nationals, the stats are against him.

However there has been two winning Grand National favourites in the last three runnings and The Midnight Club has won or placed in 12 of his 14 runs under rules, falling once and finishing 14th on his first ever start.

The Irish horse will no doubt be a contender and since the decision was made for Walsh to ride him, his Grand National odds have been cut from 12/1 into 8/1.

A £20 stake on The Midnight Club winning the Grand National would return £180. New customers can sign up here to get £60 in free bets.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.