Ruby Walsh will return to racing at Newbury on Friday after a four-month lay-off caused by a fall on a day that summed up the highs and lows of life as a jump jockey.
Walsh rode double Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Kauto Star to victory in the feature JNwine.com Chase at the Down Royal Festival in November then immediately followed that up with a win on board The Nightingale.
But then disaster struck, the Kildare jockey suffering a double fracture of his right leg in a crashing fall from Corrick Bridge just an hour after winning on Kauto Star, who he is scheduled to ride in the Cheltenham Gold Cup a fortnight on Friday.
Walsh has since missed plenty of big-race winners for retained trainers Paul Nicholls and Willie Mullins.
He returned to the public arena on Sunday in a schooling session after racing at Leopardstown.
Walsh also had a spin on some of Nicholls’ Cheltenham Festival hopes yesterday.
“This morning, I sat on Kauto Star, Aiteen Thirtythree, Al Ferof, Niche Market and Definity and it's all systems go,” he said last night.
“I'm not feeling any pain and it's business as usual.
“I'm flying back home to Ireland and (I'm) due to see the doctor tomorrow, but it's just a formality.
“I must say I've become quite good mates with the doctor, as we've been spending a lot of time in each other's company. We're on first name terms all right!
“I'll be back in England on Friday, when I will probably have one or two mounts.
“I might have a ride in the two-mile-five-furlong novice hurdle — I see Paul has four entered — and possibly Don't Turn Bach in the novice handicap hurdle.
“It'll be a case of easing myself back into the saddle and I'll probably only have a couple of rides on the Saturday at Newbury.
“It's exciting times and I'm just counting down the hours now until I'm back on the racecourse.”