Thursday 14 December 2017

Katie Walsh: No Blues for Ross in Cork

King Blue and Katie Walsh jumping the last to win
King Blue and Katie Walsh jumping the last to win "The Fegentri World Championship Handicap Hurdle" at Cork - Alain Barr - 26.03.2015

Yesterday's trip to Cork certainly proved to be a good one as I managed to steer King Blue to victory for my husband Ross and the owners, Tommy Ward and Dermot Meagher of the Top Of The Wave Syndicate in the amateur hurdle.

It didn't look the strongest of races going down there but in fairness to the horse he certainly couldn't have done it any better and he deserved it because he had been unlucky on a couple of occasions and hopefully he'll be able to follow that up again shortly and maybe Ross will find another amateur hurdle and I might get to stay with him!

We still have plenty of major jump races to go this season but naturally a lot of the attention this week is on the start of the Flat which gets underway this weekend at the Curragh and I must admit, while my heart is obviously in National Hunt racing, I do also love the flat and I'm really looking forward to it getting started again.

I was reading an article with Joseph O'Brien the other day and the ammunition down at Ballydoyle is mouthwatering but Joseph was also mentioning his weight and that it has been a bit slower to come down this year but what I really admire is how he doesn't complain and just accepts that he'll continue to ride on the flat for as long as it is possible.

The wasting (weight) he is doing must be both physically and mentally very tough but he appreciates that the country is full of jockeys that would give anything to even ride just one of the horses he has to look forward to and it's like Ruby going to Willie's in the morning, it's easier to be getting up to go and ride those top class horses.

Hopefully his weight will stabilise over the season and he'll get at least another good year out of it before setting off to ride over jumps!

There's also class racing in Dubai tomorrow and I'll be keeping a close eye on Caspar Netscher in the Al Quoz Sprint when he takes on Sole Power.

I bought Caspar as a foal and sold him as a two-year-old to his current owners and hopefully he'll do us all proud again.

Finally, it was a shame to see both Barry Geraghty and Davy Russell join Mark Walsh on the sidelines last weekend and with Bryan Cooper's suspension we now have four of our leading riders out of the two upcoming Grand Nationals.

Obviously it's very tough on them lads because riding in races is their bread and butter, it's how they make a living but in those prestigious races you only get one chance a year and all four of them lads were sure of rides in Fairyhouse and Aintree.

Of course, we still have a bit of time to go yet to Fairyhouse, Aintree and Punchestown and the cruel reality of the sport is that they might not be the only lads to miss out.

I rode in the Grand National at Aintree last year after Mikey Fogarty got a fall the day before so you just don't know, but I suppose the other side of the coin is that four other jockeys are going to come in for rides that they wouldn't have had and maybe someone's career will change on the back of it.

When the quick ground and summer tracks come in the risk of injury does increase and I can assure you though that any jump jockey that goes through the season without an injury definitely has a guardian angel looking over them.

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