Ruby Walsh has revealed his excitement about finally returning to the saddle and feels that he has serious chance of taking away the top jockey honour at the upcoming Cheltenham Festival.
Walsh has had to bide his time on the sidelines since November after breaking his leg following a fall at Down Royal.
However, there are no doubts that he will be ready to ride winners at Cheltenham as he took part in a schooling session at Leopardstown over the weekend and will return to proper race riding later this week at Newbury.
Walsh is 11/10 in the Cheltenham betting to finish as the Festival’s top jockey and given the quality of his leading book of rides, this may prove a generous price.
He will partner some of horse racing’s household names including Kauto Star, Big Buck’s and Master Minded at Cheltenham, while Poquelin and Quevega are among the favourites for their entered races that Walsh is expected to ride.
Walsh told the Telegraph: “I feel grand, 100 per cent. I feel no effects from the injury since I have come back to work.
“Willie Mullins and Paul Nicholls have many serious chances for Cheltenham and, to be frank, I can’t wait.”
Walsh has been the top Cheltenham Festival jockey in five of the last seven seasons and in all of the last three.
Three Cheltenham winners have been enough to land Walsh the honour for four of his five victories, but he enjoyed a prolific Festival in 2009 when winning on board seven horses.
Barry Geraghty is the second favourite at 3/1 to be named top Cheltenham jockey, with Tony McCoy priced at 6/1.
Those looking for more of a longshot may want to opt for Paul Townend at 20/1 as he will have some decent rides on some of Ireland’s biggest challengers.
A £25 stake on Paddy Brennan being top jockey would return £825. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.