Looks impossible for Walsh not to be Cheltenham top jockey again
Ruby Walsh may be a short 1/2 to be named top jockey at Cheltenham, but this could end up being the biggest banker of the entire four-day Festival.
Walsh has been crowned the top Cheltenham Festival jockey in six of the past eight years and his typically impressive book of rides shows no sign of diminishing this year.
In fact, Walsh is certain to ride three horses that are as good as guaranteed to be sent off odds-on for their respective races.
Big Buck’s is 4/9 in the Cheltenham odds to win the Ladbrokes World Hurdle for the fourth successive year and he remains unbeaten as a hurdler on the back of 15 straight victories.
Quevega is also a three-time winner of the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle and despite not being seen on the racecourse this season, she is 1/2 to maintain her dominance of this race.
Elsewhere, Hurricane Fly has looked nigh on invincible in the last two seasons and he can be backed at 4/6 to triumph in the Champion Hurdle for the second season in a row.
Aside from this trio, Walsh will have at least another handful of rides that have strong chances of success, with this group led by Al Ferof in the Arkle Chase, Kauto Star in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Cristal Bonus in the Jewson Novices’ Chase.
The big fact that gives Walsh such a significant edge in terms of riding more winners than his fellow jockeys is his alliance with two of the biggest stables sending horses to Cheltenham.
Paul Nicholls often runs the best horses trained in England, while Willie Mullins is responsible for a vast number of Irish winners.
Barry Geragthy is likely to prove the biggest threat to Walsh in terms of Cheltenham winners and he can be backed at 7/2 to ride the most winners over the four days.