Walsh High in The Sky with Hurricane Fly

By Abby Rugg

RUBY Walsh has once again chosen Hurricane Fly over Zarkandar in the Stan James Champion Hurdle – but it hasn’t been a concern for Paul Nicholls.

We all know Ruby is a world-class jockey and his loyalty to the horses never goes unnoticed.

I will always remember his decision between Kauto Star and Denman in the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup – so much speculation surrounded his choice and I even asked him which horse he would pick during a previous meeting at the Gloucester racecourse.

His answer: “I would like to know myself!”

Walsh is the stable jockey to both Nicholls and Willie Mullins and he previously rode Hurricane Fly in the last Champion Hurdle.

He finished third, with Zarkandar fifth, but both Nicholls and Mullins believe their entries are different horses this time round.

Daryl Jacob is to take over Zarkandar but Nicholls doesn’t look at it as Ruby deserting the yard.

The trainer has enjoyed an unbeaten run with Zarkandar, who is one of three fighting for the position as second favourite in the race.

The Cheltenham Festival isn’t far away now. I find myself checking news updates everyday now and I have always thought it’s the best week’s racing.

Hurricane Fly and Zarkandar will battle it out on the track and I am sure the result will be better than last year for them both.

But do you think Walsh’s decision is the right one? Or should he have chosen Nicholls’ Zarkander?

Horse Racing from Leopardstown - Sunday 27th January

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Posted in Thursday Thoughts from Abby Rugg
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February 2018
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