Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Bookies expect epic jockey battle

Jockey Ruby Walsh
Jockey Ruby Walsh

Bookmakers are anticipating an epic duel for the National Hunt riders' championship this season.

Red-hot Ruby Walsh, who rode seven winners over the weekend at Cheltenham and Navan, has battled to within striking distance of reigning champion Davy Russell.

Fresh from a treble at Cheltenham on Saturday, Walsh rode a brilliant four-timer at Navan, including an all-the-way success in the Grade One Navan Hurdle on Pont Alexandre.

In contrast, Russell endured wretched luck, hitting the ground in three successive races on Sunday.

Walsh is 11-10 from 5-4 to win the title for the seventh time, with Russell easing to 4-6 favourite from 4-7.

Joseph Burke of Stan James said: "Following Ruby's magnificent four-timer at Navan, he has cut the gap between himself and Davy Russell to just five winners.

"He is riding like a man determined to wrest his title back, having not won it now for a couple of seasons.

"After a fantastic battle for the Flat jockeys' title this season, it appears we can now look forward to a tremendous battle for the N.H. championship well."

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