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Ruby Walsh

Born: 14 May 1979

Nationality: Irish

Irish Champion Jockey Titles: 8

Notable Race Wins:-

Grand National: Papillon (2000), Hedgehunter (2005)

Cheltenham Gold Cup: Kauto Star (2007), Kauto Star (2009)

Champion Hurdle: Hurricane Fly (2011)

Champion Chase: Azertyuiop (2004), Master Minded (2008), Master Minded (2009)

World Hurdle: Big Buck's (2009, 2010, 2011)

Career History

Ruby Walsh was born into the world of horse racing, with dad Ted already a successful jockey and trainer it was no surprise to see him venture into the weighing room and carve a career in the sport.

He was an instant hit in the saddle and an 18-year-old Walsh won the first of two leading Irish amateur titles before finally turning professional in the 1998/1999 season. 

As well as having his father's horses to ride, Walsh gained an early affiliation with one of Ireland's top national hunt trainers Willie Mullins and the pair quickly bagged their first notable winner together as Alexander Banquet handed Walsh his first Cheltenham Festival win in the Champion Bumper.

The Cheltenham Festival was to become an integral part of Walsh's career as he is a name synonymous with the four day extravaganza these days.

For many jockeys, like close friend and rival AP McCoy, the Grand National is one of the most difficult races to win, but Walsh stormed to Aintree glory with his first ride in the race aboard Papillon.  Not only was it a defining moment for Ruby's career, but also for Ted, his father, who trained the 2000 winner in what was a real family affair.

At the turn of the century Walsh continued to excel in the saddle and he had attracted the eye of up-and-coming trainer Paul Nicholls in the UK, who he would later become stable jockey to.

In 2003 he rode his first major winner at the Cheltenham Festival as he partnered the Nicholls-trained Azertyuiop to glory in the Arkle Chase, before winning the Queen Mother Champion Chase on the same horse a year later.

2004 was where Walsh's excellence at the Festival began to show and it just ignited the Nicholls/Walsh partnership as they continued to breed success at the greatest national hunt festival.

The following year Walsh propelled himself into an elite group of jockeys as he managed to ride his second Grand National winner aided by Mullins as they saddled Hedgehunter to Aintree glory.

Walsh was continually riding winners and was regularly crowned leading Irish national hunt jockey, but it was in the late 2000's that a trio of horses would give Walsh the most joy in the saddle.

Dual Gold Cup winner Kauto Star has been labelled one of the best horses Walsh has ever ridden, whilst dual Champion Chase winner Master Minded was simply glorious when bagging his first two mile crown.  Finally, the Stewart Family-owned Big Buck's would venture into the record books by bagging three successive World Hurdle crowns for Walsh and Nicholls.

Walsh has since gone on to ride over 30 winners at the Cheltenham Festival and is widely regarded as one of the most technically gifted riders of all time.

Other Leading National Hunt Jockeys

AP McCoy

Richard Johnson

Barry Geraghty

Timmy Murphy

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