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Cheltenham Diary: Gillian's delight for hat-trick hubby

HEAVILY pregnant jockey WAG Gillian Walsh was first in line to congratulate her hubby Ruby when he scooped an impressive triple win at the opening day of this year's Cheltenham festival.

The glamorous blonde is almost eight months pregnant with the couple's second child and explained how she was ecstatic to see her other half reign supreme at the Centenary Day meeting where he won his first Champion Hurdle on Willie Mullins' Hurricane Fly.

The talented jockey completed his hat trick with wins on Al Ferof in the first race and Quevega in the sixth.

Gillian, who is already mum to Isabelle (1), told the Herald how it meant everything to Ruby to have been declared fit enough for this week's festival, after a terrifying fall at Naas last Wednesday left him with a black eye and a number of stitches. The champion jockey had only just returned to the saddle after being out for four months with a fractured right leg.

Gillian insists her hubby was the model patient while waiting for his injury to heal and says the couple can't wait to add another addition to their family at the end of next month.

"I'm just thrilled for him, it's fantastic," Gillian said. "He missed most of his main season with his leg so this makes up for it a bit.

"He actually is a very good patient. I'm delighted he was able to make this week.

"He has never won a Champion Hurdle so that was one race he really, really wanted to win.

"I'm just thrilled to be here because we didn't know if we would be.

"I'm almost eight months pregnant and it's a long week for Ruby so the celebrations weren't too big."

lnolan@herald.ie