Punters enjoy early cheer after tasty Walsh four-timer
Ruby Walsh completed a perfect four winners from four-rides at Navan yesterday that resulted in a pre-Christmas present to his legions of supporters worth 32 to 1 in accumulated odds.
Pont Alexandre landed the big race for the eight-times champion jockey and Wingtips finally got off the mark at prohibitive 1 to 4 odds in the maiden hurdle.
However, Boston Bob started even shorter at 1 to 5 for his fencing debut in the Beginners Chase, which ultimately turned out to be the hardest-fought of Walsh’s four-timer.
Boston Bob had just half a length in hand of You Must Know Me at the line and only for some sure-footed jumping might have been turned over at prohibitive odds.
Treble at Cheltenham
Bookmaker reaction was to lengthen his RSA odds for Cheltenham and Willie Mullins admitted to disappointment at the performance, although also pointed out how demanding conditions were on the chase track.
“He made hard work of that, certainly wasn’t impressive or anything,” the trainer said. “It might take him some time get over that. Ruby said the ground at Cheltenham yesterday was heavy but didn’t know how describe that. We’ll wait and see about plans.”
Walsh’s treble at Cheltenham on Saturday means he is heading into the lucrative Christmas period bang in form and Wingtips enjoyed a long-overdue visit to the winners enclosure in the maiden.
“He can swish his tail but in fairness to him he puts his head down and gallops . . . but he was entitled to do that,” said Tony Martin who also supplied Matsukaze for Walsh in the handicap hurdle.
For much of the race, a nightmare day for Davy Russell looked like it might get worse. After three falls the champion jockey cried off Rocky Wednesday and Davy Condon looked like he’d got a winning “spare” when leading at the second last.
However, Walsh pounced late from the back to secure a seven-length victory.
“The key was switching him off . . . It was a great performance by the jockey,” said Martin. “He really is excellent. And in a poor race with a small field, everything worked out right for us.”