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  1. #41
    Senior Member Simon's Avatar
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    Made me laugh to see Racing Post mis-typing Osako D'Airy's name in their headline today. They've got him down as Osaka D'Airy LOL.

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  3. #42
    Senior Member granger's Avatar
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    Has anyone else heard Christy Moore's new song ' The ballad of Ruby Walsh'

    Chorus goes "Hey Ruby, hould her back/ give her the crack and hup she'll go,"

    http://www.leinsterleader.ie/news/Ch...ith.5034776.jp
    Some people say heís the best since Arkle and thatís certainly true when you look at what heís done

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    Senior Member PRICEWISE2008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by granger View Post
    Has anyone else heard Christy Moore's new song ' The ballad of Ruby Walsh'

    Chorus goes "Hey Ruby, hould her back/ give her the crack and hup she'll go,"

    http://www.leinsterleader.ie/news/Ch...ith.5034776.jp
    I've heard it Granger, gas it is..I could imagine plenty of lads murdering that chorus after a few winners and a gallon of porter
    "Have a little each way on the filly" D.K Weld

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    Bumped into Ruby at the airport yesterday morning. Seemed to be in good form (even for his brusque self!), happy to have a chat and a coffee and looking forward to Cheltenham.

  6. #45
    Senior Member granger's Avatar
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    Some people say heís the best since Arkle and thatís certainly true when you look at what heís done

  7. #46
    Senior Member granger's Avatar
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    Some people say heís the best since Arkle and thatís certainly true when you look at what heís done

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    I am a big fan but I thought he put Captain Conflict on the deck at Clonmel on Thrsday.Possibly his worst ride of the year.

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    Struggled to keep my breakfast down while reading Down's interview with Ruby in the post today.

  10. #49
    Senior Member granger's Avatar
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    Today's Guardian
    Ruby Walsh explains how danger is all part of being a jump-jockey

    Ruby Walsh tells Donald McRae how Cheltenham glory cannot wipe out the memories of fallen colleagues
    Ruby Walsh slips through a side door to his *favourite pub in *Kilcullen with a quiet smile on his face. His entry is so un*obtrusive that a stranger to this small and pretty town in County Kildare, or to the brutally compelling world of jump-racing, would not imagine the grey-haired jockey has just made history and become the subject of a new song written by one of Ireland's most famous singers.
    Walsh was serenaded by a beery chorus of "Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby", inspired by the Kaiser Chiefs, after every one of his record seven winners at the Cheltenham Festival this month. Yet last week's release of Christy Moore's 'The Ballad of Ruby Walsh', a song of humour and pathos about the old singer being saved by the jockey at Galway Races, sits more *comfortably with him.

    Today, however, chitchat about *Cheltenham and Galway, or even this Saturday's Grand National, has to wait as Walsh hunches over his cappuccino and speaks with fierce passion. In a more ordinary interview he pats away the usual questions without saying much beyond suggesting that riding horses is a grand way to earn a living – especially as he claims to merely "steer" his winners home. But there is no time for amused self-effacement now.
    Walsh, bearing the ache of the *weighing-room on his face, cannot escape the image of a young jockey, 21-year-old Matt O'Connor, lying in a coma at Cork University Hospital. O'Connor fell from his horse last Thursday afternoon at Thurles and Walsh is stricken. "Matt's fighting for his life now," he says *pointedly. "He hasn't regained consciousness and they've put him in an induced coma because of the bleeding on the brain. You wouldn't wish it on your worst enemy – let alone someone you like. Matt a rising star, a polite, lovely, hard-working fella. But this stares us in the face as jump-jockeys. It can *happen at the Grand National at Aintree or in a *beginners' chase at Thurles."

    Walsh looks up. His face is gaunt and pale. And even if his eyes remain clear, and his voice calm, the words are harrowing. "As a jump-jockey death is always around the corner. That's not being dramatic. That's realistic. You only have to think of Kieran Kelly and Sean Cleary."
    The names of Kelly and Cleary, his two friends who fell while racing, and died within three months of each other in 2003, echo across our wooden table. But I don't need to ask why Walsh, amid such danger and tragedy, rides on. The words are already tumbling from his mouth in a headlong rush. "Death can come but, *listen, we have the will and desire. It's pure passion. We're all the same. We all started at 16 with that burning sensation in our stomachs, wanting to be the next Richard Dunwoody. And then AP [Tony McCoy] came along. At 21, the age Matt is now, we all want to be the next Tony McCoy. That's what drives us on."

    Only Walsh can now rival McCoy, the perennial champion jockey. With his majestic capacity to win the races that matter most Walsh might even claim supremacy – except that, like McCoy, he never boasts. There is no point in *claiming to be better than your closest rival, and great friend, when one of you might soon be stretched out in hospital. "McCoy's as hungry a ******** as he was 10 years ago. He has incredible *passion but he's also shown us how to conduct ourselves. McCoy has raised the bar unbelievably – whether in desire or fitness or behaviour. He's the greatest."

    O'Connor's fall is also a reminder of the serious trouble Walsh endured four months ago, with McCoy at his side. In a race at Cheltenham, Walsh remembers, "a horse came down on me and ruptured my spleen. In hospital, with [my wife] Gillian and McCoy, I wasn't feeling great but I said the pain was OK. Gillian was worried so she leaned down and said, 'You'd better tell them how bad it is.' So I did. They took a scan of the spleen. The surgeon said it was ruptured but he wanted to keep me in for 10 days of observation to see if it might start to heal itself. I'm thinking, 'Jesus, this is too sore to ever heal. Just take the ****** out.'
    "McCoy says, 'Ten days! Ruby can't be waiting that long. You should rip it out.' The surgeon says he can't just take out a spleen. But McCoy insists, 'Take it out.' The surgeon goes to see the Cheltenham track *doctor – who explains to him how we think. So the surgeon agrees to operate. When they opened me up they saw the spleen was *mangled. There was no way it would've healed."

    Walsh chuckles darkly, until I ask him about *Gillian. "She worries. We got engaged one Christmas Eve and the next thing, on New Year's Day, I'm falling off and *breaking my vertebrae. So she knows the risks. Gillian was immense that week of the spleen. She was rock solid."
    Twenty-seven days later Walsh, without his spleen, was racing again. He shrugs when asked about a fall that could have ended his life. "In certain circumstances you can die from it. But I was lucky it wasn't my *kidneys. The spleen filters your blood every 3Ĺ *minutes and because I've now got a *cavity instead of a spleen I'll need three new vaccinations every year, and each day for the rest of my life I'll take an eighth of an antibiotic."
    His Cheltenham triumph 16 weeks later seems even more remarkable. The most winners anyone had ever ridden *during the Festival was five – and yet Walsh *managed his miraculous seven. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime achievement," he concedes. "I had a good book of rides but the only one I was sure would win was *Master Minded. The rest were in the *balance. When I got number six, on American Trilogy, a 20-1 shot, I thought, 'Jesus, an hour before the Gold Cup. That must end my good luck.' But then Kauto Star jumped a flawless race to win it."

    McCoy joined him for a few *celebratory drinks that delirious Friday night. He might have had only one Festival *winner but McCoy's extraordinary victory on Wichita Lineman in the William Hill *Trophy is described by Walsh as the *greatest ride of the week: "Only McCoy could have done that. I pulled up alongside him and said, 'You got there.' McCoy said, 'Just' – but he was smiling. And when McCoy smiles you know it's special."

    On Saturday, McCoy will try to win the National for the first time, at his 14th attempt, knowing that his friend has been victorious twice before – on Papillon in 2000, when Walsh was only 20 and riding a horse trained by his father, Ted, and on Hedgehunter in 2005. Walsh decided yesterday to pursue his third win on My Will. "I've had a few sleepless nights but I've finally decided. I was trying to pick through seven possible rides because so much depends on the weather and the going. I've been watching the forecast closely and it looks like it's going to be pretty good. So I've gone for My Will. He finished fifth behind Kauto in the Gold Cup, so he's a good horse in good form. He's brave and tough and he'll never let you down.

    "When I won on Papillon my dad said if the horse was a man he'd be one of those flash bastards who walks round with his shirt open, showing off his chest hair and his gold chains. My Will is more down to earth. He reminds me of a hard-working midfielder who grafts away without *catching the headlines. The National might change that."
    If heavy rain had been forecast Walsh would have opted for another of his father's horses, Southern Vic. "My dad knows I've got to choose the horse that suits me best on the day. But no other achievement of mine will ever beat winning on Papillon for my dad. I didn't believe then I could ride a Grand National winner. I was just thrilled to be there. And then to have such a good ride on a horse trained to perfection by my dad was better than anything I could ever hope to experience again."
    Walsh still believes the Gold Cup is superior to the National. "In the Gold Cup the best horse almost always wins. But the National is a lottery. No matter how confident and focused you are, no matter how good a ride you give your horse, you still need so much luck. You can be going *beautifully but, because it's a handicap with 40 horses, bad luck can just bite you on the arse. It is a prestige race and the public love it – but it boils down to luck.

    "Aintree is daunting. It's big, tricky and trappy. You're going at 35 miles an hour, looking at each horse's numberplate to try and work out who's still standing. You charge down to the first and the rush is incredible. If you get over that, and the second, you're hoping they won't freeze at the ditch. They can get spooked at any of the first three and that's why they worry me the most. Look at last year – that's where Mick Fitz[gerald] got cut down."
    Fitzgerald, who once said winning the National was better than sex, was in *danger of being paralysed for life. He recovered, but never rode again. Walsh is mortified by the prospect of his own retirement but, at a reminder that he turns 30 in May, he retorts, "I'm still five years and 10 days younger than McCoy. I could go another 10 years if I'm lucky – because I can't imagine not being a jockey. It doesn't bear thinking about it."

    At least he's already been *immortalised in song. "I know," Walsh grins. "The *Kaiser Chiefs song is catchy enough but it's got **** all to do with me. I can just about stand people singing it at me because it means I've ridden a winner. But the Christy Moore ballad is a serious honour. Christy is way out my league. It feels very strange he should sing about a jockey like me. But it's great."
    Then, amid the shadows of our little corner in Kilcullen, Walsh remembers Matt O'Connor again. He suddenly looks suitably grave – with little to celebrate.
    But, five days after his fall, O'Connor's condition has improved from "critical" to "serious but stable". Walsh sounds heartened when he calls me later to offer a more hopeful update – with the news that, last night, O'Connor's doctors were considering the possibility of gradually bringing out him of his coma. "Fingers crossed he's going to be OK. We're not going to stop worrying but at the same time we can't stop racing. Matt wouldn't want it any other way. This is what we do, whether it's at Thurles on a Thursday or the National on Saturday. We try to win but, mostly, we just hope all of us come out in one piece."
    Last edited by granger; 31st March 2009 at 10:14 AM.
    Some people say heís the best since Arkle and thatís certainly true when you look at what heís done

  11. #50
    Senior Member PRICEWISE2008's Avatar
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    Very good piece..thanks granger
    "Have a little each way on the filly" D.K Weld

  12. #51
    Senior Member Grey's Avatar
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    Exactly what I was going to say. Thanks.

  13. #52
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    What posts a YouTube video on other forums doesn't seem to work here, but for anyone who is interested there is now a better version of Christy Moore's Ballad of Ruby Walsh on YouTube.
    Here are the lyrics, anyway.
    The Ballad of Ruby Walsh

    There’s Bethlehem and Cheltenham and Lourdes and Limerick Junction
    The trip to Mejagorie come up for the extra motion
    Good people climb Croagh Patrick with serenity on their faces
    But Ruby Walsh saved me life below at the Galway Races.
    Hey Ruby hold her back, give her the craic and up she'll go.


    They're under starters orders, Ted Walsh is commentating,
    Ruby's up on the favourite, she'll take some beating
    Necks are strained, eyes are trained, there's fear upon their faces
    There's agony and ecstasy below at the Galway races
    Ruby hold her back, give her the craic and up she'll go.


    It's there you'll see gentility and sheep dressed up as mutton
    There's double barreled names with Mulherns on old melodeons
    The talk is all of tillage of silage and corn acre
    I fancy Tracy Piggott in the saddle in the enclosure
    Ruby hold her back, give her the craic and up she'll go


    Sir John Muck-Savage Smith is there with Smurfits and O'Reilly's
    The owners and the trainers, the stable boys and jockeys
    With silk around their arses getting up on rich men's horses
    The convention wives and daughters and marriages and divorces.
    Hey Ruby, hold her back, give her the craic and up she'll go.


    There's Celtic helicopters land bank speculators,
    Builders and developers, crocodiles and alligators
    Soldiers of destiny their in the fields of frenzy
    their mouths wrapped round the Lamb Of God come back for the gravy,
    Hey Ruby, hold her back, give her the craic and up she'll go.


    Thursday is the ladies day and the women all look smashing
    Their lashing on the lipstick, Philip Tracy’s all the fashion
    You can see the liposuction, the botox and ogmanation
    Brazilian haircuts, the colonic irrigation,
    Hey Ruby, hold her back, give her the craic and up she'll go.


    And every one's out in Salthill for the craic and for the porter
    There's bookies making odds on two flies walking up the wall
    There's folk and trad. karaoke and set dances
    While some of us who seen better days were looking to take our chances
    Hey Ruby, hold her back, give her the craic and up she'll go.


    Their galloping down the back straight, he has her in the canter
    A look at her up the jumps be Gad, she's like a belly-dancer
    Over the last she hits the front the other one's going to pass her
    Winner alright, it's up Kildare, follow me up to Carlow
    Hey Ruby, hold her back, give her the craic and up she'll go.

    Hey Ruby, hold her back, give her the craic and up she'll go

    Lyrics by Christy Moore

  14. #53
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    Thanks And for that - I did listen to it on YouTube from the link on FF -
    but not of word of it could I grasp! Very amusing to be sure

  15. #54
    Senior Member granger's Avatar
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    This time last year Paul Nicholls, the champion jumps trainer, published his autobiography, Lucky Break. Now, as the jumps season gathers momentum once more, his jockey, Ruby Walsh, has followed him into print.


    This is excellent news, as Walsh is pretty reticent in the main, and his book, Ruby, written in collaboration with Malachy Clerkin of the Sunday Tribune, makes for an easy, accessible, very entertaining read. In the week that I've spent with my copy, these are the five bits that struck me as most interesting but there is plenty more meat to this book that will be enjoyed by any follower of jump racing.
    1) The first win at Cheltenham


    Endearingly Walsh has not forgotten what it is like to be a fan of the sport, rather than one of its leading professionals. He describes his first visit to Cheltenham in the kind of awestruck terms you might hear from any punter, saying it gave him "the feeling of being in the one place in the world I would be, if I had the choice to be anywhere".
    It is the 1996 Festival, the year of Collier Bay and Imperial Call, and Walsh, aged 16, has skipped school for the week to be there with his family. He is already a jockey but has achieved so little at this point that it doesn't even occur to him to imagine himself one day riding into the winner's enclosure. He is simply there to enjoy the action and cheer for Willie Mullins, already an employer, who rode and trained the Bumper winner, Wither Or Which.
    Two years later, as Mr R Walsh, he gets his first Festival winner, riding Alexander Banquet, another Mullins-trained winner of the bumper. The horse was sent off at 9-1, meaning he was among the more likely candidates, but his jockey reports that the thought of winning had not even entered his head. "A Cheltenham winner was a far-off, distant dream," he says, and conveys a sense of shock when, as the field race down the back of the course, he realises he is in with a chance.
    A major part of the thrill of victory is seeing his name on a Channel 4 graphic as a winning rider at the Festival, alongside Richard Dunwoody, Charlie Swan and Norman Williamson. Then Walsh reminds us that he didn't make that graphic for another four years, not until he rode Blowing Wind in the Mildmay of Flete.
    Walsh now holds the record for most wins at the Festival by a jockey but, if we have forgotten how long it took him to establish himself there, he certainly has not.
    2) His friendship with Tony McCoy


    Your experience of him may be different but I think of Walsh as someone who puts quite severe limits on his media exposure, which is why it was a surprise and a delight to learn that he was working on a book. In it he explains that he is naturally disposed to be shy of strangers. "Most of my close friends are the lads I knew as a teenager," he says.
    In December 2001, with Jim Culloty injured, Walsh is asked by Henrietta Knight to come over to Wantage to school some horses. He asks a friend if there is someone in racing who lives in the area who might put him up for the night and gets the answer, Tony McCoy. "'Jesus,' I said. 'I don't really know him that well. Is there nobody else?'"
    Five years older, McCoy has been champion jockey six times by this point, so it is not to be wondered at if Walsh feels mildly intimidated. They had chatted to each other while hacking round for third and fourth place in the Grand National, after remounting Blowing Wind and Papillon, but that apparently accounts for most of the words they had ever said to each other at this point.
    But there is no one else, so Walsh makes the call, McCoy says yes and, nine years later, Walsh says he is such a frequent guest at Chateau AP that he practically has squatter's rights.
    If they hadn't hit it off, Walsh's career might have been very different, since he has never made a home in England and, by his own account, would not have been able to bear the depressing experience of staying many nights in hotels or in digs. Had it not been for the welcome offered by McCoy and his wife, Walsh estimates that he might have lasted no more than a couple of years as a regular rider on this side of the Irish Sea.
    Someone, somewhere is undoubtedly wondering if he might not have ended up as Kauto Star's regular rider, if only McCoy had been a bit more standoffish.
    3) Keeping two champion trainers happy


    Walsh is firmly established as Nicholls' jockey of choice and received glowing praise in the trainer's own book. Together the pair have racked up 17 Festival wins and I'm sure neither wants to contemplate how things might have been without the other.
    But it seems to have taken them a very long time to get together. Nicholls made the first approach in early 2001, offering a retainer of £30,000 per year and generous terms. Walsh would be allowed to nominate two Irish-trained horses that he would still be allowed to ride on any day in any race, against whatever Nicholls-trained opposition. But, says Walsh, "I'm a home bird. I love living in Ireland," and so he elected to stay there and continue riding for his father and for Mullins.
    A year later Nicholls was still looking for a jockey, having been turned down by Barry Geraghty. Walsh decided "there had to be a way of doing this".
    Off his own bat, he comes up with a compromise that will allow him to ride the best horses from two stables, each of which has since become the dominant force on its side of the Irish Sea. On Thursdays and Sundays, days when there is generally jump racing in Ireland through the winter, Walsh would ride there for Mullins. From Monday to Wednesday and on Saturdays, he would be in England for Nicholls.
    He would take no retainer, thereby freeing himself, when Cheltenham or other major festivals came round, to pick which stable he would ride for in each race.
    Walsh acknowledges the amount of toil and travel involved in making the deal work, as well as a great need for diplomacy. "I was going to have to make a fair few political decisions to keep the peace," he writes. "I couldn't just be going where I thought the winner was. Sometimes I would have to turn up to meetings where it mattered more that I was actually there, even if there was going to be a better ride elsewhere."
    But Walsh is clearly not short of diplomacy or he would never have been able to get Nicholls and Mullins to sign up for his deal in the first place. For years now he has been having his cake and eating it, if a jockey can ever be so described. He has two young-ish, driven and successful trainers fighting for his services and somehow he keeps them both happy, with the result that he gets to pick his rides on the biggest days from a very large pool of equine talent.
    Walsh's genius is not just confined to the racecourse.
    4) What he says when asked for tips


    This is a really tricky issue for jockeys and I'm so pleased to know what Walsh thinks on the subject. As you would expect, it happens to him all the time.
    At 17 he was told what to say when asked for a tip. "Pick a horse, any horse. All the punter wants is a name . . . If it wins, it makes their day and they'll raise a glass to you. If it doesn't, sure that's racing and we go again."
    It seems a sensible approach, so long as you can count on such equanimity from the losing punters. But Walsh admits that he struggles to stick to it, "because I'd genuinely have doubts" about the chance of each mount that day. This gets him into trouble because the punter assumes Walsh just doesn't want to share information with him, a view that is confirmed if the jockey gets a double that afternoon.
    "Everybody you meet wants to think they have the inside track," he says. "And I understand that, I do. But it can get fairly tiresome."
    So there you go, folks. If you want Ruby to respect you, ask for an autograph, wish him well and let him go about his business. When you want to bet, study the form and trust your own judgment.
    5) Remounting Kauto


    As soon as I opened his book, I wanted to know Walsh's thoughts about what happened at Exeter on 31 January 2005. That was the day when, with a bit of bad luck, Kauto Star's career could have been over before it started.
    Having only his second start since joining Nicholls from France, Kauto Star was 2-11 to beat two rivals but fell at the second-last when 12 lengths clear. One of the other runners had already been pulled up and the other was going so slowly that Walsh felt he could still win if he remounted. So he clambered back on Kauto Star, jumped the last fence and rode a furious finish to be beaten a short-head.
    The next day it transpired that Kauto Star had a hairline fracture of one hock. He would miss the Cheltenham Festival, though he was able to resume racing in peak condition nine months later. Given his subsequent career, there is no chance that the incident had any lasting effect.
    Still, it is likely, as Walsh concedes, that Kauto Star sustained his injury in the fall. That would mean that Walsh asked him to jump a fence at racing speed with a fractured hock, a horrifying idea.
    Walsh was criticised, once the injury was known, though the horse apparently showed no symptoms until the next day. He rejects the flak as unfair and says that remounting is "all I'd ever done", whether on a pony as a youngster, in the hunting field or schooling a novice. In Walsh's experience you get back on the horse unless injury prevents it.
    That kind of perseverance has taken him far in life but I'm relieved that remounting has since been banned, even though Walsh thinks this is a "ridiculous" outcome. As the Exeter race showed, it is simply not possible to tell, in the moments after a fall, whether a horse is injured or not. If he appears to be fine, he should be walked back to the stables unencumbered.
    Walsh and his colleagues get any amount of respect from me for their daring and attacking approach to the sport but the horses need to be protected and remounting involves too much risk.
    Some people say heís the best since Arkle and thatís certainly true when you look at what heís done

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    I wouldn't underestimate the role played by Mullins in making the triangle with Nicholls work. It's the same as Oxx's impact on Johnny Murtagh when he was having his troubles.

    Ruby has ridden for us and hopefully will in the future. As a jockey he is top notch, as a personality I'd take McCoy over him any day.

    I thought it was a bit rich of them to charge Ä10 for you to attend his book launch. I would have gone and bought a book to boot if it had been free but a tenner for the pleasure....no thanks. And I think everyone else, bar 50, thought the same (second hand info from someone who was there). It was a pretty poor showing and most there were given tickets.

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    Senior Member krizon's Avatar
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    Who's written those observations, Granger? The book sounds fine, but I'm pleased that whoever's written the above remarks isn't a star-struck toady (re the remounting issue).
    Power is good. Control is better. (Lenin)

  18. #57
    Senior Member granger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krizon View Post
    Who's written those observations, Granger? The book sounds fine, but I'm pleased that whoever's written the above remarks isn't a star-struck toady (re the remounting issue).

    Sorry, should have referenced it

    Chris Cook - Guardian

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog...uby-walsh-book
    Some people say heís the best since Arkle and thatís certainly true when you look at what heís done

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    Ruby Walsh shy?

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    Senior Member granger's Avatar
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    I'd take it as meaning not media hungry for most of the time, far from shy with his opinions
    Some people say heís the best since Arkle and thatís certainly true when you look at what heís done

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    Think Carberry will have a book out next year too, that should be interesting............................

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