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Ruby Walsh staying loyal to Hedgehunter

Home Forums Horse Racing Ruby Walsh staying loyal to Hedgehunter

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  • #154944
    • Total Posts 6965

    I dare say with it being the 40 runner Natiional, Nicholls may now struggle to get a top flight pilot as they will all be booked.

    Johnson and Thomas already appear to be booked, and whilst the remainder arguably constitute lesser talents, I don’t think Nicholls would be too upset if he add to enlist the services of any of Joe Tizzard, Liam Heard, Nick Scholfield, Tom Greenall or even – if she is qualified – Rachel Green (remember that Polly Gundry would have ridden Torduff Express a few years back but got stranded in position 41 on the list).


    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    • Total Posts 277

    Hi David
    Also handy for the water jumps!!

    • Total Posts 4823

    Why would Ruby desert the horse who he’s won the race on for a 3 miler with too much weight?

    Turko hasn’t a hope against Kauto, Denman, Neptune or Star De Mohasion (when he returns) in Grade 1 chases next season and he’s badly handicapped for decent handicaps. Ok a difficult horse to place and rolling the dice for a big pot I can understand, but the National? Why risk losing the horse in a race he cant win.

    If I was Andy Stewart I wouldn’t run him. I’d keep bringing him over for the weakly contested big pots in Ireland. He’s already won 25K for basically showing up at Leopardstown.

    I can absolutely see Ruby’s reasoning on this one.

    • Total Posts 108

    Let’s face it, if Ruby had got off Hedgehunter for Turko, or picked any of the younger improvers of whom he had the choice who might (arguably) give him an increased chance of winning than the 12yo top-weight, MP would have started a thread bemoaning his lack of loyalty, so the poor guy can’t win.

    Did he nick your milk when you were at school or something, MP?

    • Total Posts 6965



    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    Neil Watson
    • Total Posts 1376

    To be fair Hedgehunter is an old stooge now and Ruby does have a bond with the horse so feels it is right to stay with him and make sure he comes home safe and sound.

    Turko is a class horse but maybe this is race to much for him but what else is their to go for now.

    He probably will travel and jump well but may a bit tap for toe at the business end of the contest even so he could run a big race.

    • Total Posts 3420

    Its called man management. something PN is by all accounts rather good at

    I think its excellent that he lets his most important employee have a bit of leeway with his choice of ride and the loyalty and consideration will surely not be forgotten by Ruby

    Tete Rouge
    • Total Posts 119

    I’m struggling to understand precisely what difference it would make if Sam Thomas WAS No 1 jockey, since he was booked to ride Mr Pointment some days ago.

    More importantly, I’m struggling to understand why they feel the need to run Turko at all.

    Fist of Fury 2k8
    • Total Posts 2930

    This is an absolute nonsense..not the thread Princess/the talk in the paper.

    Not the way it happened at all :roll:

    • Total Posts 3901

    Fill us in then Fists.

    • Total Posts 1708

    Richard Johnson as has already been stated rides Turko.

    Turko and No Full racing will leave Philson Run, DunDoire, Ardason and Joes Edge out of the line up.

    I’d love to see Andy Stewart win this race.
    It has taken ages for his family to have a Cheletenham Festival winner and hopefully he can get his Grand National winner this year.

    I have no real confidence but the trainer seemed up beat on ATR in the week so I had £20@ 33/1.

    • Total Posts 256

    I don’t see why Sam Thomas would want to cut his ties with Nicholls when he rides a lot of class horses, and still rides a lot for Venetia Williams.

    Neil Watson
    • Total Posts 1376

    I think it wont be long before Sam Thomas becomes the number one rider at Paul Nicholls yard considering how he has helped win a number of big races during November and early December.

    Ruby is a good jock but he can be a bit big headed with the hold up tactics in a race and sometimes he is his own worst enemy at doing this.

    Personally i think Paul Nicholls should axe Ruby and have Sam as the main rider with Liam Heard as the stable second as he is a good rider and did not deserve to be jocked off Neptune Collonges by that fat oaf John Hales in favour of Mick Fitzgerald.

    To be fair though i bet AP wished he hadnt signed up to be JPs official jockey as some of the mounts he gets are awful and he should not be on Franchoek at Aintree as Choc knows him like the back of his hand and would have won on him in the Triumph.

    • Total Posts 6965

    (Annoyingly, my first attempt at a reply to this post got eaten by my steam-driven Internet connection – better luck this time, I trust)

    I think you are out of order suggesting I am trying to create ill will.

    It raised the eyebrows that a number of unfavourable comments directed at Mr Walsh (for whom I’m certainly no apologist) appeared to have been pursued and repeated with such vigour, and with – unless I’ve overlooked them, which is always possible – little mention of his more positive qualities by way of redress of balance. If there is no personal axe to grind with the man, however, then so be it.

    I find it difficult to understand that the best trainer in the land cannot call upon the services of a No.1 jockey –

    I don’t regard it as the norm, but I don’t find it too difficult a concept either; and far from having to put up with the situation, I can quite imagine that it is a situation Paul Nicholls will only want to encourage further from hereon. I wouldn’t have presumed that Sam Thomas would automatically have got the ride on Denman et al all those weeks ago, don’t get me wrong, but his performances having being given the chance can only serve to make it easier for Nicholls to put up Thomas on more of the better horses from hereon, and / or to promote him to stable jockey were Walsh to retire suddenly or – heaven forfend – suffer a career-ending injury on his next ride.

    Simply put, whether entirely by accident or by design, Nicholls has spread his risk jockey-wise, and it appears to have paid off very nicely. If one were to ask all of his owners whether, all things being equal, they would insist on having Walsh ride their horses over Thomas, I’d wager the total now would be appreciably smaller than a few months ago.

    With Howard Johnson snapping up all the young riding talent on an almost annual basis, there is little choice for Nicholls at present than to accept the situation.

    I’m not sure either comment is wholly accurate.

    On the face of it the role of Howard Johnson’s stable jockey is undoubtedly attractive, what with the likes of Inglis Drever and Tidal Bay as guaranteed rides, but his reputation – fairly acquired or not – of him being difficult and a bit of a hirem-firem may well have travelled south with Paddy Brennan when he was dismissed by the Billy Row handler (a decision believed largely due to the rider’s refusal to ditch his incumbent racing agent for a northern-based one endorsed by the trainer himself).

    Johnson can’t hoover up all the talent if some of it sticks resolutely to the floor.

    I’m also not sure how Nicholls’ acquiring of Liam Heard and Nick Scholfied from the pointing scene, and his developing of them into improved riders under his tutelage, constitutes "accepting" any situation – rather, he may be taking a view as to possible longer-term replacements for first Walsh and then Thomas. Scholfield in particular has taken my eye under Rules and in point-to-points over the last 15 months, and with many professionals short of a ride in the National if he really preferred them, I can’t imagine Nicholls has given the amateur the ride on Cornish Sett under sufferance.


    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    • Total Posts 1593

    If Denis O’Regan does go back to Ireland, I’d be heavily inclined to suggest that the next retained jockey at the Jonhson yard won’t be Sam Thomas.

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