No looking Bach for returning Walsh
Ruby Walsh makes a low-key return to action after four months out with a broken leg when he has just the one ride at Newbury on Friday.
Walsh partners the promising Don't Turn Bach for Paul Nicholls in the Elle Security Novices' Handicap Hurdle as he gears himself towards the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday week.
He has been sidelined since sustaining his injury in a fall from Corrick Bridge at Down Royal in early November just over an hour after winning the JNwine.com Champion Chase on Kauto Star. His absence has cost him plenty of big-race winners for Nicholls and his other retained trainer Willie Mullins.
Walsh was in action on Sunday when riding in the traditional Cheltenham schooling session after racing at Leopardstown, and has been riding out regularly for his father Ted as well as for Mullins and Nicholls.
Nicholls is delighted to have Walsh back in action and is of the opinion the rider looks "really fit and sharp" after keeping his eye in on some major names this week.
He said in his Betfair blog: "It was great to welcome Ruby back to the team when he walked through the gates on Monday morning, and we have certainly kept him busy since. And I can reveal here that he partnered Kauto Star in a racecourse gallop with Master Minded (Daryl Jacob), Sam Winner (Harry Skelton) and Robinson Collonges (Ian Popham) on Tuesday morning.
"Clive Smith was on hand to watch the workout and Kauto Star went with Master Minded. I was particularly pleased with Kauto, though they all went nicely and I was delighted with all four. They did a nice piece of work over two miles, with Robinson going with Sam.
"Sam Winner needed the breeze out and enjoyed himself, and in many ways Robinson is very much a forgotten horse. I see Wishfull Thinking is one of the favourites for the Jewson but don't forget that Robinson Collonges would have probably beaten him in the Rising Stars at Wincanton in February and we were giving him 6lb that day; we go for the Jewson and he has come back well.
"But back to Ruby. After he schooled Kauto, Master Minded, Big Buck's and Sam Winner on Monday, we went to a bar-restaurant called The Chapel in Bruton for 'An Evening With Paul and Ruby'. We had a talk and a chat about Cheltenham, sold a few of our books and had a good time.
"Then we did the racecourse gallop on Tuesday morning, and after we came back Ruby schooled Aiteen Thirtythree, Definity, Al Ferof, Niche Market and Rock On Ruby. He looks really fit and sharp - he has kept himself in good shape - and the idea is to ease him back with one ride at Newbury on Friday, and three or four on Saturday."