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Mark Walsh is an Irish National Hunt racing jockey who’s been racing since the early 2000s. Born in 1986, Walsh has been a consistent rider for well over a decade now. While never being in the race to become champion hunt jockey, he has still picked up 50 to 80 victories each season since 2014, and he’s landed a selection of notable wins among them.
This page will give an overview of Walsh’s career so far, plus we’ll look at his record in the Grand National and highlight some interesting facts about this jockey from County Kildare.
Mark Walsh: Career Profile
In 2002, Walsh had his first ride under rules, and within seven weeks, he had picked up his first victory aboard the Marcus Callaghan-trained Shrug. Things looked promising for this young jockey as both the number of rides and winners increased over the next few seasons, but then he hit a barren spell in which he only rode twenty winners in three seasons.
In 2008/09, Walsh returned to form. First, with P’tit Fute, he won the significant Freshways Handicap Hurdle, and one month later, he won the Red Mills Chase (Grade 2) riding Glenfinn Captain trained by Tom Taaffe. That same season, he had his first race as a Grand National jockey with Jonjo O’Neill’s horse Reveillez, which was unfortunately brought down at the third which was a great upset in Grand National circles.
Walsh has had several Grand National rides since but has failed to complete the course on each occasion. Finally, his luck changed in 2019. Walsh landed a ride as a replacement for Barry Geraghty, who had suffered a broken leg.
His mount was the fancied 10/1 shot Anibale Fly. While he didn’t win, Mark Walsh produced his best performance as a Grand National jockey by finishing fifth.
Walsh’s Personal Profile
Mark Walsh frequently rides for horses owned by J. P. McManus and has achieved some of his most memorable wins for him. Many punters ask if Mark is related to Ted, Ruby and Katie Walsh. The truth is that even though they have the same surname and all come from County Kildare in Ireland; they are not related. On the other hand, Ted Walsh is Ruby’s and Katie’s father.
Even though Walsh had some ups and downs in his career, there have been some glorious moments too, especially in 2019. The table below shows his major wins:
|2013||Racing Post Novice Chase||Defy Logic|
|2014||Greenmount Park Novice Chase||Gligamboa|
|20215||Champion Stayers Hurdle||Jezki|
|2016||Drinmore Novice Chase||Coney Island|
|2016||Irish Gold Cup||Carlingford Lough|
|2017||Neville Hotels Novice Chase||Shattered Love|
|2017||Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase||Simply Ned|
|2018||Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase||Simply Ned|
|2018||Racing Post Novice Chase||Le Richebourg|
|2019||Arkle Novice Chase||Le Richebourg|
|2019||Champion Stayers Hurdle||Unowhatimeanharry|
|2019||Spring Juvenile Hurdle||Sir Erec|
|2019||Champion Hurdle||Espoir d’Allen|
|2019||Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle||City Island|
|2019||Sefton Novices’ Hurdle||Champ|
It’s fair to say, Mark Walsh appears to be getting better with age, and if he can avoid serious injuries, he has several more years left in the saddle. Is this enough time for him to become a Grand National winner? Based on his 5th place in 2019, there’s no reason why this super Irish jockey can’t do it. We await with interest to see what ride he is given next time out. If you are a novice and want to know more about ante post and the Grand National you have come to the right place!