Grand National Jockey: Ruby Walsh

4 December 2019
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Ruby Walsh retired from race-riding in May 2019 so won’t be riding in the 2020 Grand National. He was one of the most stylish jumps jockey’s of his generation. He worked for Willie Mullins and Paul Nicholls, who are the leading trainers in Ireland and Britain respectively. Walsh was arguably the best big race jumps rider of the start of the 21st century. He was at his best at the Cheltenham Festival which is the most prestigious and lucrative meeting of the year. Walsh is not afraid to express an opinion and his experience and insight is an asset for the sport. He has the knowledge and communication skills to pursue a second career in the media or administration of the sport.

Ruby Walsh Career

Ruby Walsh turned professional in 1998 after winning two amateur jockey titles in Ireland. He was one of the few jockeys in great demand in the UK and Ireland. At one stage he worked for trainers Willie Mullins and Paul Nicholls at the same time. The jockey spent most of the week in Ireland and then commuted to Britain to ride in the major Saturday races.

Before his retirement Walsh was the only active jockey to have won the Grand Nationals of Wales, Scotland and Ireland and the most famous one at Aintree in England. Towards the end of his career, Walsh was blighted by serious injuries and aged 39 he walked away from riding in jumps races. This jockey was a name to look for when doing your Grand National betting. But now instead both Ruby and Katie Walsh will work for Grand National 2020 as ambassadors for the event.

Grand National Jockey

The Irish jockey rode 59 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, which is a record. He rode his first winner at the meeting in 1998 and the last one in 2019. He won all the major championship races at the festival more than once: Champion Hurdle (4), Champion Chase (3), Stayers’ Hurdle (5) and Gold Cup (2). From 2002 to 2019, Walsh rode at least one winner at every Cheltenham Festival. He was the leading jockey at the festival 11 times, spanning 2004 to 2017. There is unlikely to be another jockey who rides Cheltenham as well in the major jumps races.

Ruby Walsh Trivia

Ruby Walsh was born in Kill in County Kildare in Ireland in 1979. He rode over 2700 winners in a career that lasted more than 20 years. He won many individual honours and was the champion jockey in Ireland 12 times. He is the son of Ted Walsh, a racehorse trainer in the country of his birth and a racing pundit on Irish and British television.

He is the sister of Katie Walsh who has the best finishing position (3rd on Seabass in 2012) for a female in the Grand National. Walsh got married to Gillian Doran in July 2006 and the couple have four daughters. He now works in the media in Ireland and the UK.

Ruby Walsh’s Record In The Grand National

This Grand National jockey won the coveted race two times during his career:

  • 2000: Papillon trained by Ted Walsh and owned by Mrs J. Maxwell Moran. Starting Price: 10/1.
  • 2005: Hedgehunter trained by Willie Mullins and owned by Trevor Hemmings. Starting Price: 7/1 Favourite.

Walsh has ridden in 14 Grand Nationals and in addition to the two wins, has been placed five times. He has completed the course 11 times which is well above the average for jockeys that regularly have a ride in the Grand National. He also has a good record in other races over the grand National fences at Aintree. Walsh has now retired so won’t be improving his record in the Grand National in 2020. Before retiring Walsh had the best win and place record in the National of active jockeys.

Thank you for reading the first edition of our Grand National jockeys coverage. We will publish a new article about your favourite jockeys every five days!

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